Multiscale cancer modeling

Thomas S. Deisboeck, Zhihui Wang, Paul MacKlin, Vittorio Cristini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

280 Scopus citations


Simulating cancer behavior across multiple biological scales in space and time, i.e., multiscale cancer modeling, is increasingly being recognized as a powerful tool to refine hypotheses, focus experiments, and enable more accurate predictions. A growing number of examples illustrate the value of this approach in providing quantitative insights in the initiation, progression, and treatment of cancer. In this review, we introduce the most recent and important multiscale cancer modeling works that have successfully established a mechanistic link between different biological scales. Biophysical, biochemical, and biomechanical factors are considered in these models. We also discuss innovative, cutting-edge modeling methods that are moving predictive multiscale cancer modeling toward clinical application. Furthermore, because the development of multiscale cancer models requires a new level of collaboration among scientists from a variety of fields such as biology, medicine, physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science, an innovative Web-based infrastructure is needed to support this growing community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-155
Number of pages29
JournalAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
StatePublished - Aug 15 2011


  • Cancer systems biology
  • Clinical translation
  • Continuum
  • Discrete
  • Hybrid
  • Personalized medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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