This Stunning 3-D Model Provides A Fresh Perspective On Cancer

Scientists have created a comprehensive computer model of a cancerous tumour in three dimensions - watch it in action in this Nature Video. Read the paper

We still don't know enough about exactly how cancer spreads and grows, but new computer modelling at Edinburgh University offers a beautiful insight into how tumours can expand and evolve.

A 3-D model of a tumor showing cell types in varying colors CREDIT: Bartek Waclaw and Martin Nowak

 

Through a 3-D simulation created with mathematical algorithms, researchers modeled how one rogue cell begins to form a mass, and how different cells within the growing tumour can evolve and 'take over', flourishing and replacing the original tissue. 

 

 

 

 

A major problem in cancer treatment is that cancerous populations can often evolve in response to a particular drug; a portion of the tumour simply replacing the other. Through greater understanding and more accurate modelling, researchers hope we will gain greater insight into exactly why some patients relapse and how cancer is able to evolve and metastasize so effectively.

 

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