OUR VISION AND MISSION
In Silico Oncology and In Silico Medicine
Augmented with Artificial Intelligence
The In Silico Oncology and In Silico Medicine Group (ISO&ISM_G), Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (SECE), National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), is dedicated to the shaping and the advancement of the emergent scientific and technological domain of in silico (computational) oncology and more broadly in silico medicine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_silico_medicine).
The latter aims at the patient individualized optimization of treatment by exploiting the patient’s multiscale clinical data (e.g. imaging, histological and molecular data) through exprerimentation in silico i.e. on the computer. Another practical goal is the conduction of in silico clinical trials.
The proposed fundamental notion and the system of the "Oncosimulator," primarily aiming at individualized treatment optimization via a combination of mechanistic multiscale mathematical modelling, statistics, artificial intelligence (e.g. machine learning) and software engineering is one of the focal points of the group’s research and development activities.
Exploitation of both conventional and big data through the utilization of several artificial intelligence (AI) methods and strategies is a further activity aiming. inter alia, at complementing mechanistic simulation modelling. Combining mechanistic multiscale simulation modelling with artificial intelligence techniques appears to be a necessity, especially in the cancer domain, as long as there remain gaps in the detailed quantitative understanding of specific hypercomplex constitutive biomechanisms. Therefore, the newly coined term "In Silico Oncology and In Silico Medicine Augmented with Artificial Intelligence" (ISO&ISM-aug-with-AI) describes best our current research approach and activities.
Within this context, many different cancer types as well as other diseases and treatment modalities are addressed.
Research is conducted within the framework of an excellent EU-US fundamental science, technological and clinical network.
Postgraduate education in the fields of multiscale cancer modelling and in silico medicine is a further important activity of ISO&ISM_G. It is worth noting that the doctoral course No 705 of SECE, NTUA entitled “Multiscale Cancer Modelling and In Silico Medicine” has been the first postgraduate course specifically dedicated to in silico medicine on an international scale.
A STRATEGIC CLINICAL COLLABORATION
A strategic and exceptionally fruitful clinical collaboration of ISO&ISM_G with the Paediatric Oncology and Haematology Clinic, Medical School, University of Saarland, Germany (Director: Prof. Norbert Graf) has been established since 2004. Of paramount importance is the fact that Prof. Norbert Graf is the Chairman of the Renal Study Group of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP-RTSG).
It is noted that nephroblastoma (Wilms tumour), which is the most common type of renal (kidney) cancer in children, has been and is being addressed by the ISO&ISM_G in a very special way. The obvious reason for this is that both globally top clinical guidance and high quality multiscale data sets for the particular tumour type have been and are being provided by Prof. Graf for the particularly demanding needs of the development and the clinical adaptation and validation of the multiscale mechanistic Nephroblastoma Oncosimulator. It is pointed out that the Nephroblastoma Oncosimulator, apart from its obvious scope for the patient individualized treatment optmization of the particular tumour, is viewed as a model or prototype for the shaping, development and validation of Onsosimulators addressing other tumour types.
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