We are having a school project on a mathematical model of tumor growth. We would like to compare our model to the real data. Despite a lot of search we couldn't find any open data on the web. Hence, can anyone recommend a resource for the datasets of tumor cells growth?

EDIT: It seems that we rather need a dataset from test labs, like tumor growth data in mice, rats etc. The reason for that is that we need a data of unrestricted tumor growth. The data from humans is most of the times affected by different treatments to prevent the growth of the cells. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I'm not a biologist, I'm a mathematician.

4 Answers 4


I asked on Twitter and got this response: https://twitter.com/sachsmc/status/532600589033951234

Looks like there is some data at http://dtp.nci.nih.gov/index.html, but he said it's hard to navigate

  • Thank you. I tried this database and it's full of strange abbreviations. And as I'm not an expert in this field it was really hard to find a suitable data. Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 7:21

Try these two publications:

A.R. KANSAL et al., Simulated Brain Tumor Growth Dynamics Using a Three-Dimensional Cellular Automaton, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Volume 203, Issue 4, 21 April 2000, Pages 367-382, ISSN 0022-5193, doi link

Araujo & McElwain, A history of the study of solid tumour growth: The contribution of mathematical modelling, 2004, doi link

Both behind a paywall, so let me know if you can't get hold of them.

  • Thank you I was able to read them for free. The first one is using a similar model which use and the latter one provides a nice overview on the models. Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 7:17

The Synapse project hosts projects and datasets related to cancer (among other things).

A quick search turns up one data set (although it's labeled as 'hypothetical'): LINK

Here is a 100 patient hypothetical dataset - as an example to process the Tumor Growth Rate

I think you can find more if you dig around the site. Unfortunately, you'll have to register to get any data.

Nice that they offer:

Programmatic Clients: Synapse is designed to easily integrate into your current work. That's why we've created the following clients so that you can interact with all of Synapse's functionality programmatically. Create projects, upload & download files, generate provenance, query, create wikis and more all from the comfort of your own code. Don't see your language of choice here? Check out our full REST API documentation.

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  • Thank you I tried this dataset, but I'm not sure of its origin. Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 7:19

The UCI Machine Learning Repository has a data set called "Breast Cancer Wisconsin (Diagnostic)" - LINK.

Features are computed from a digitized image of a fine needle aspirate (FNA) of a breast mass. They describe characteristics of the cell nuclei present in the image.

The data is not related necessarily to growth, where you would have a time series for one patient, but is instead diagnostic for many patients.

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