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JOURNAL

Cancer Informatics

Introduction of Hypermatrix and Operator Notation into a Discrete Mathematics Simulation Model of Malignant Tumour Response to Therapeutic Schemes In Vivo. Some Operator Properties

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Cancer Informatics 2009:7 239-251

Original Research

Published on 21 Oct 2009


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Abstract

The tremendous rate of accumulation of experimental and clinical knowledge pertaining to cancer dictates the development of a theoretical framework for the meaningful integration of such knowledge at all levels of biocomplexity. In this context our research group has developed and partly validated a number of spatiotemporal simulation models of in vivo tumour growth and in particular tumour response to several therapeutic schemes. Most of the modeling modules have been based on discrete mathematics and therefore have been formulated in terms of rather complex algorithms (e.g. in pseudocode and actual computer code). However, such lengthy algorithmic descriptions, although sufficient from the mathematical point of view, may render it difficult for an interested reader to readily identify the sequence of the very basic simulation operations that lie at the heart of the entire model. In order to both alleviate this problem and at the same time provide a bridge to symbolic mathematics, we propose the introduction of the notion of hypermatrix in conjunction with that of a discrete operator into the already developed models. Using a radiotherapy response simulation example we demonstrate how the entire model can be considered as the sequential application of a number of discrete operators to a hypermatrix corresponding to the dynamics of the anatomic area of interest. Subsequently, we investigate the operators’ commutativity and outline the “summarize and jump” strategy aiming at efficiently and realistically address multilevel biological problems such as cancer. In order to clarify the actual effect of the composite discrete operator we present further simulation results which are in agreement with the outcome of the clinical study RTOG 83–02, thus strengthening the reliability of the model developed.



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