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Oncotarget. 2018 May 25;9(40):26226-26242. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.25360. eCollection 2018 May 25.

Modeling small cell lung cancer (SCLC) biology through deterministic and stochastic mathematical models.

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City of Hope, Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, Duarte 91010, CA, USA.
City of Hope, Center for Informatics, Duarte 91010, CA, USA.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Medical Oncology, Boston 02215, MA, USA.
Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, Boston 02115, MA, USA.


Mathematical cancer models are immensely powerful tools that are based in part on the fractal nature of biological structures, such as the geometry of the lung. Cancers of the lung provide an opportune model to develop and apply algorithms that capture changes and disease phenotypes. We reviewed mathematical models that have been developed for biological sciences and applied them in the context of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) growth, mutational heterogeneity, and mechanisms of metastasis. The ultimate goal is to develop the stochastic and deterministic nature of this disease, to link this comprehensive set of tools back to its fractalness and to provide a platform for accurate biomarker development. These techniques may be particularly useful in the context of drug development research, such as combination with existing omics approaches. The integration of these tools will be important to further understand the biology of SCLC and ultimately develop novel therapeutics.


computational modeling; continuous model; discrete model; small cell lung cancer; systems biology

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