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Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Volume 5462 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 187-198

An Agent-Based Model of Solid Tumor Progression

  • Didier DréauAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of North Carolina
  • , Dimitre StanimirovAffiliated withCollege of Computing and Informatics, University of North Carolina
  • , Ted CarmichaelAffiliated withCollege of Computing and Informatics, University of North Carolina
  • , Mirsad HadzikadicAffiliated withCollege of Computing and Informatics, University of North Carolina

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Abstract

Simulation techniques used to generate complex biological models are recognized as promising research tools especially in oncology. Here, we present a computer simulation model that uses an agent-based system to mimic the development and progression of solid tumors. The model includes influences of the tumor’s own features, the host immune response and level of tumor vascularization. The interactions among those complex systems were modeled using a multi-agent modeling environment provided by Netlogo. The model consists of a hierarchy of active objects including cancer cells, immune cells, and energy availability. The simulations conducted indicate the key importance of the nutrient needs of the tumor cells and of the initial responsiveness of the immune system in the tumor progression. Furthermore, the model strongly suggests that immunotherapy treatment will be efficient in individual with sustained immune responsiveness.

Keywords

self-regulation self-organization self-migration agents cell simulation