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Created by: Anna Miller, David Basanta, and Maxi Strobl

Issue 282: In cancers, the complex ecosystem of different cell types and signaling molecules, known as the tumor microenvironment, plays a crucial role in shaping how cancer cells evolve and adapt. This process, called somatic evolution, leads to increased diversity (heterogeneity) within the tumor, which allows it to better cope with challenges like treatment and environmental pressures. The image you see here comes from a computer simulation of our agent-based model, which represents the bone ecosystem in multiple myeloma. Each pixel in the image represents either a cell or the concentration of a signaling molecule that cells use to communicate with each other. By studying how these different elements interact within the simulated ecosystem, we can gain valuable insights into how the real cancer ecosystem influences tumor evolution and treatment resistance.