Multiscale modeling and distributed computing to predict cosmesis outcome after a lumpectomy

M. Garbey, R. Salmon, D. Thanoon, B. L. Bass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Surgery for early stage breast carcinoma is either total mastectomy (complete breast removal) or surgical lumpectomy (only tumor removal). The lumpectomy or partial mastectomy is intended to preserve a breast that satisfies the woman's cosmetic, emotional and physical needs. But in a fairly large number of cases the cosmetic outcome is not satisfactory. Today, predicting that surgery outcome is essentially based on heuristic. Modeling such a complex process must encompass multiple scales, in space from cells to tissue, as well as in time, from minutes for the tissue mechanics to months for healing. The goal of this paper is to present a first step in multiscale modeling of the long time scale prediction of breast shape after tumor resection. This task requires coupling very different mechanical and biological models with very different computing needs. We provide a simple illustration of the application of heterogeneous distributed computing and modular software design to speed up the model development. Our computational framework serves currently to test hypothesis on breast tissue healing in a pilot study with women who have been elected to undergo BCT and are being treated at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-335
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • Breast cancer
  • Cellular automata
  • Distributed computing
  • Multiscale model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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