Fractal-based mathematical models of cancer in the era of systems biology

Fabio Grizzi, Irene Guaraldo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cancer research has undergone radical changes in the past few years. Amount ofinformation both at the basic and clinical levels is no longer the issue. Rather, how tohandle this information has become the major obstacle to progress. System biology is thelatest fashion in cancer biology, driven by advances in technology that have provided uswith a suite of "omics" techniques. It can be seen as a conceptual approach to biologicalresearch that combines "reductionist" (parts) and "integrationist" (interactions) research,to understand the nature and maintenance of entities. In geometrical terms, cancerouslesions can be depicted as fractal entities mainly characterized by their irregular shape,self-similar structure, scaling relationship and non-integer or fractal dimension. It isindubitable that The Fractal Geometry of Nature has provided an innovative paradigm, anovel epistemological approach for interpreting the anatomical world. It is also knownthat mathematical methods and their derivatives have proved to be possible and practicalin oncology. Viewing cancer as a system that is dynamically complex in time and spacewill probably reveal more about its underlying behavioral characteristics. It isencouraging that mathematicians, biologists and clinicians contribute together towards acommon quantitative understanding of cancer complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClassification and Application of Fractals
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781612099675
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)


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