Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
Sezione di Trieste

Virtual Biophysics Lab

A good understanding of the growth kinetics of tumors is essential in order to plan new and improved therapeutic regimens. We are presently developing a complex simulation program for the numerical modelling of the behavior of tumor spheroids. The work has been ongoing for several years now, under various project-names (Virtus, VBL/VBL-Rad, and now eBON) which correspond to the phases of the research, all of which received grants from the interdisciplinary branch of the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics. Tumor spheroids are an interesting in-vitro model with features very similar to those of unvascularized solid tumors, and our eventual goal is to manage to simulate the very early stages of in-vivo tumors. The model describes the metabolism, growth and proliferation of the tumor cells, as well as the extracellular environment, and the program developed from this model is able to simulatelarge populations of cells. The simulator has already produced numerical estimates of spheroid tumo behavior which are in close agreement with measurements of real tumor spheroids.

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