Cellular modeling of cancer invasion: integration of in silico and in vitro approaches

J Cell Physiol. 2012 Feb;227(2):431-8. doi: 10.1002/jcp.22766.


Cancer invasion is one of the hallmarks of cancer and a prerequisite for cancer metastasis. However, the invasive process is very complex, depending on multiple correlated intrinsic and environmental factors, and thus is difficult to study experimentally in a fully controlled way. Therefore, there is an increased demand for interdisciplinary integrated approaches combining laboratory experiments with multiscale in silico modeling. In this review, we will summarize current computational techniques applicable to model cancer invasion in silico, with a special focus on a class of individual-cell-based models developed in our laboratories. We also discuss their integration with traditional and novel in vitro experimentation, including new invasion assays whose design was inspired by computational modeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*