Created by: Jeffrey West, Mark Robertson-Tessi, Sandy Anderson
Issue 249: This artwork was featured on the cover of Trends in Cell Biology, April 2023. Modeling tumor evolution via integrative team science. On pages 300–311 in this issue, West et al. review the utility of agent-based modeling to investigate the cell–cell and cell–environment interactions that drive cancer progression, therapeutic resistance, and metastasis. A set of simulated tumors is shown, where each pixel corresponds to a single tumor cell. Cells are color-coded according to the nature of recent interactions with infiltrating immune cells. Yellow cells are PD-L1+, green cells hide in acid, blue cells survive in low glucose, pink cells produce acid, and red cells out-proliferate predation. The background is an evolutionary Muller plot showing the trajectories of evolving tumor subclones over time (top to bottom). These tumors provide an apt metaphor for participating in integrative team science. Interdisciplinary teams are as diverse as the outcomes of our tumor simulations; mathematicians, evolutionary or experimental biologists, and clinicians can brainstorm and iterate to design the rules underlying the mathematical model.