Based at the Moffitt Cancer Center, Florida, Cancer Ecology is a small research group led by David Basanta. We are mathematical modellers who work with biologists and clinicians, trying to understand the ecology of tumors and the evolutionary dynamics of cancer progression and resistance to treatment.

Review of models in cancer biology

The bus from Oxford to London leaves me with some time to read papers and in this occasion I took with me Modeling cancer biology. This paper reviews the work done by several groups of researchers in the field of mathematical modelling of cancer. It is a quite gentle and useful introduction to the field, the challenges (if I am allowed to used that so often abused word) and the state of the art. It comes in the Spring issue of Biomedical Computation Review and has been written by Kristin Cobb.

It mainly cites the work from people like:

  • Natalia Komarova who models the crypts in the colon to study things such as the ideal ratio of stem versus differentiated cells to minimise the risk of cancer. *Galit Lahav, that models the p53 signalling network. His group does also the experimental validation of these models.
  • Zvia Agur who works on models of angiogenesis that show how the volume of the tumour, the volume of immature blood vessels and the volume of mature blood vessels change depending on a number of factors.
  • Vito Quaranta and Alexander Anderson work on producing and validating agent based models in which the features of different tumour phenotypes and the microenvironment determine tumour evolution. They find that smooth microenvironments lead to cells that are less invasive than those found in tumours in harsh microenvironments.
  • Thomas Deisboeck, whose group work on gliomas using agent based modelling. He has also contributed to setting up the Center for the Development of a Virtual Tumor, CViT, which should help to researchers that want to share their models

Evo Devo videopodcast at

Prince of Asturias award to developmental biologists