Skip to main content

Modeling heterogeneous tumor growth dynamics and cell-cell interactions at single-cell and cell-population resolution


Harris LA , Beik S , Ozawa PMM , Jimenez L , Weaver AM , . Current opinion in systems biology. 2019 9 16; 17(). 24-34


Cancer is a complex, dynamic disease that despite recent advances remains mostly incurable. Inter- and intratumoral heterogeneity are generally considered major drivers of therapy resistance, metastasis, and treatment failure. Recent advances in high-throughput experimentation have produced a wealth of data on tumor heterogeneity and researchers are increasingly turning to mathematical modeling to aid in the interpretation of these complex datasets. In this mini-review, we discuss three important classes of approaches for modeling cellular dynamics within heterogeneous tumors: agent-based models, population dynamics, and multiscale models. An important new focus, for which we provide an example, is the role of intratumoral cell-cell interactions.