The 2019 mathematical oncology roadmap

Russell C. Rockne, Andrea Hawkins-Daarud, Kristin R. Swanson, James P. Sluka, James A. Glazier, Paul Macklin, David A. Hormuth, Angela M. Jarrett, Ernesto A.B.F. Lima, J. Tinsley Oden, George Biros, Thomas E. Yankeelov, Kit Curtius, Ibrahim Al Bakir, Dominik Wodarz, Natalia Komarova, Luis Aparicio, Mykola Bordyuh, Raul Rabadan, Stacey D. FinleyHeiko Enderling, Jimmy Caudell, Eduardo G. Moros, Alexander R.A. Anderson, Robert A. Gatenby, Artem Kaznatcheev, Peter Jeavons, Nikhil Krishnan, Julia Pelesko, Raoul R. Wadhwa, Nara Yoon, Daniel Nichol, Andriy Marusyk, Michael Hinczewski, Jacob G. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Whether the nom de guerre is Mathematical Oncology, Computational or Systems Biology, Theoretical Biology, Evolutionary Oncology, Bioinformatics, or simply Basic Science, there is no denying that mathematics continues to play an increasingly prominent role in cancer research. Mathematical Oncology - defined here simply as the use of mathematics in cancer research - complements and overlaps with a number of other fields that rely on mathematics as a core methodology. As a result, Mathematical Oncology has a broad scope, ranging from theoretical studies to clinical trials designed with mathematical models. This Roadmap differentiates Mathematical Oncology from related fields and demonstrates specific areas of focus within this unique field of research. The dominant theme of this Roadmap is the personalization of medicine through mathematics, modelling, and simulation. This is achieved through the use of patient-specific clinical data to: develop individualized screening strategies to detect cancer earlier; make predictions of response to therapy; design adaptive, patient-specific treatment plans to overcome therapy resistance; and establish domain-specific standards to share model predictions and to make models and simulations reproducible. The cover art for this Roadmap was chosen as an apt metaphor for the beautiful, strange, and evolving relationship between mathematics and cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041005
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 19 2019


  • cancer
  • computational oncology
  • mathematical modeling
  • mathematical oncology
  • modeling and simulation
  • systems biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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