Dealing with diversity in computational cancer modeling

Cancer Inform. 2013 May 7;12:115-24. doi: 10.4137/CIN.S11583. Print 2013.


This paper discusses the need for interconnecting computational cancer models from different sources and scales within clinically relevant scenarios to increase the accuracy of the models and speed up their clinical adaptation, validation, and eventual translation. We briefly review current interoperability efforts drawing upon our experiences with the development of in silico models for predictive oncology within a number of European Commission Virtual Physiological Human initiative projects on cancer. A clinically relevant scenario, addressing brain tumor modeling that illustrates the need for coupling models from different sources and levels of complexity, is described. General approaches to enabling interoperability using XML-based markup languages for biological modeling are reviewed, concluding with a discussion on efforts towards developing cancer-specific XML markup to couple multiple component models for predictive in silico oncology.

Keywords: XML markup languages; in silico oncology; model interoperability; multi-scale computational tumor modeling.