The speed and the versatility of today's computers open up new opportunities to model and analyze complex biological systems. VBL-RAD is a computer program that simulates the growth of large populations of dispersed tumor cells (e.g. leukemia cells) and of three-dimensional avascular tumors starting from the behavior of single cells. The program incorporates a functional model of cell metabolism, control of the cell cycle and cell death, and death may occur because of limited nutrient availability, of the intracellular accretion of waste molecules and of radiation. VBL-RAD is a true in silico laboratory that allows one to carry out quantitative experiments at will.
Aims of the project are:
• investigate the microscopic interactions among tumor cells and between cells and their surrounding microenvironment
• understand the response of tumors to therapy and in particular to radiotherapy
• understand the origin of tumor variability
• investigate the dynamics of complex biological systems at multiple scale levels
The project is fully financed by the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare - Gruppo V