How do we represent this? There are two meanings, so we need to represent the process and its result. We will narrow the definition to make it only about cancer.

Metastasis.PNG (162414 bytes)

We have two meanings:

1) A component cell of the tumor spreads from the location of the tumor to a different body part – the tumor metastasizes.
2) A tumor which is the result of metastasis.

The FROMTO is used for all relations involving movement - They brought the good news from Ghent to Aix. This allows the relation operator to have only two or three parameters.

The ToBeDifferentFrom is asserting that the cell spread to a different Body Part   (Right Leg is a different body part to Left Leg, so we have to make sure the object hierarchy reflects that, and doesn't just have "Leg" at the level of Body Part, with splitting up lower down).

The logical state of the ToMetastatize mirrors that of the ToSpread - if ToMetastatize is True, so is ToSpread. If the question is asked "Did the tumor metastatize?", then it becomes "Did cells from the tumor spread to another part of the body?"

Doesn’t this assume the new tumor will occur? No, we have a Maybe state on the ToCause relation. However, if we are talking about a "metastasis having grown rapidly", the meaning is clear, the object does exist, so the ToCause now has an implied state of True.

Here, "Metastatic" only has one meaning - the new malignant tumor caused by cells spreading from the original tumor - and not from any other cause - the definition is still incomplete, because it doesn't show the elimination of other causes.


Meaning 2 isn’t very good – it doesn’t mean you mistakenly tip some cells out of a test tube and put in different ones. We will stick to transformation, although the meaning probably refers to self-replacement (a good example of why automatic parsing of dictionary entries would be fraught). The definition also isn’t clear whether there are two meanings – the process and the result. "transformation" and "replacement" are processes. The medical note makes it clear it is the result –

The bronchial resection margin shows squamous metaplasia

You could argue that the margin showed transformation, but "scaly transformation"?

We will create two meanings.

metaplasia.png (63808 bytes)

Obviously, stem cells aren’t one of the types.

Medical Design Notes