Public Defense: Xiaoran Lai

MSc Xiaoran Lai at Institute of Basic Medical Sciences will be defending the thesis “Modelling, inference and simulation of personalized breast cancer therapy” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Miguel A. Herrero, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain
  • Second opponent: MRC Rutherford Research Fellow Kathleen Kit Curtius, Queen Mary University of London, UK
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Group leader, NCMM Marieke Kuijjer, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Uta Sailer, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Arnoldo Frigessi, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Mathematical modelling and simulation tools are an attractive and time- and cost- effective approach to determine optimal therapy for individual cancer patients.

Current models can address pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anticancer medicine at various spatial and temporal scales. Simulations can then be performed to explore many treatment regimens to identify optimal plans with minimal toxicity. To individualise a model to each individual patient, its parameters require separate estimation and validation, and the runtime of simulations remains too slow for a practical clinical use.

In this project, I demonstrate that

• a mathematical model designed for a specific type of cancer, integrating routinely-collected data from a clinical trial is feasible,

• the model is robust enough to simulate and predict various responses using individual data, and 

• the collected data are sufficient for the purpose of validation and personalisation of the model

We use data from a recently published neoadjuvant clinical phase II trial in patients with advanced breast tumours where histological, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and molecular data were collected before, during and at the end of neoadjuvant treatment.

Overall, our study demonstrates the effectiveness and the potential of simulation-based personal treatment optimisation. It lays the basis for future program in delivering robust clinic companion diagnostic tool.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.



Published Oct. 11, 2019 8:57 AM - Last modified Oct. 23, 2019 10:39 AM