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Tumor2

by Arthur Renkwitz (Submitted: 7/15/2002 )

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WHAT IS IT?

This model illustrates the growth of a tumor and how it resists chemical treatment. A tumor consists of two kinds of cells: parent cells (blue turtles) and transitory cells (all other turtles).

During mitosis, a parent cell can divide either asymmetrically or symmetrically. In asymmetric mitosis, one of the two daughter cells remains a parent cell, replacing its parent. So a stem cell effectively never dies - it is quasi reincarnated after each division. The other daughter cell turns into a transitory cell that moves outward.

Young transitory cells may divide, breeding other transitory cells. The transitory cells stop dividing at a certain age and change color from red to white to black, eventually dying.

A stem cell may also divide symmetrically into two stem cells (blue turtles). In this example the original stem cell divides symmetrically only once. The first stem cell remains static, but the second stem cell moves to the right. This activity, in which the cell advances into distant sites and creates another tumor colony, is called metastasis. Notice that the metastasis is red. It is made of cells that die young. As the disease progresses, cells die younger and younger.

The original StarLogoT Tumor model was contributed by Gershom Zajicek M.D., Professor of Experimental Medicine and Cancer Research at The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem.

HOW TO USE IT

SETUP: Clears the display window and creates two blue neoplastic (cancerous) stem cells. One cell stays put and the other moves to the right.
GO: Runs the simulation.
SLOWDOWN: A high value slows down the process.
TAXOL: This button introduces taxol to the tumor killing young transitory cells.
CARBOPLATIN: This button introduces carboplatin to the tumor killing young transitory cells.
COMBINATION: This button introduces a combination of taxol and carboplatin to the tumor killing young transitory cells.
KILL ORIGINAL PARENT CELL: Kills the stationary parent cell.
KILL MOVING PARENT CELL: Kills the metatatic parent cell.
LEAVE-TRAIL: If it's ON, the cells trace their paths; if it's OFF, they do not.
TIME: Displays how many times the go procedure has been run
CELL-COUNT: Displays the total number of living cells.
LIVING CELLS PLOT: plots the number of living cells.

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