Computational Modelling of Cancer Biology and Treatments (23w5007)


Morgan Craig (Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Centre/Université de Montréal)

Adrianne Jenner (Queensland University of Technology)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Computational Modelling of Cancer Biology and Treatments" workshop in Banff from January 22 to January 27, 2023.

Over the last two decades, mathematics has become a major foundation in cancer biology and treatment research. Computational modelling in oncology is an interdisciplinary field aimed at using mathematical techniques to further our understanding of how cancer develops and interacts within each individual, and how an understanding of these interactions can be leveraged to improve therapeutic outcomes. Recent progress in computational oncology has allowed experimentalists and clinicians to visualize tumour formation with and without treatment and establish novel therapeutic approaches both less invasively and more cost effectively. This workshop focuses on two main techniques of computational modelling used in cancer research: in silico clinical trials and agent-based models. In silico (or virtual) clinical trials are used to investigate experimental treatments computationally so that therapeutic protocols can be verified for their robustness, and new personalized treatments can be developed. Agent-based models (ABMs) are computational models that capture emergent behaviours between interacting cells. In these models, virtual ‘agents’ are given rules that govern their interaction, decision making and spatial movement, and they are readily used to study cancer biology as they recapitulate the spatial dynamics of cancer formation, and the phenotypic heterogeneity characteristic of drug resistance.

In this workshop, we will discuss the current state of computational modelling in cancer biology and treatment. Through the exploration of in silico trials and ABMs, workshop participants will establish new, cutting-edge approaches in computational oncology, establishing new paradigms for understanding how cancer develops and how we can improve treatment outcomes in patients.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).