Artificial Intelligence and Mechanistic Modeling for Clinical Decision Making in Oncology

Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 108, Issue 3 September 2020


State of the Art
Artificial Intelligence and Mechanistic Modeling for Clinical Decision Making in Oncology
Sebastien Benzekry
Pages: 471-486
First Published:18 June 2020
The amount of “big” data generated in clinical oncology, whether from molecular, imaging, pharmacological, or biological origin, brings novel challenges. To mine efficiently this source of information, mathematical models able to produce predictive algorithms and simulations are required, with applications for diagnosis, prognosis, drug development, or prediction of the response to therapy. Such mathematical and computational constructs can be subdivided into two broad classes: biologically agnostic, statistical models using artificial intelligence techniques, and physiologically based, mechanistic models. In this review, recent advances in the applications of such methods in clinical oncology are outlined. These include machine learning applied to big data (omics, imaging, or electronic health records), pharmacometrics and quantitative systems pharmacology, as well as tumor kinetics and metastasis modeling. Focus is set on studies with high potential of clinical translation, and particular attention is given to cancer immunotherapy. Perspectives are given in terms of combinations of the two approaches: “mechanistic learning.”