A model of the effects of cancer cell motility and cellular adhesion properties on tumour-immune dynamics

Frascoli, F, Flood, E and Kim, P 2017, 'A model of the effects of cancer cell motility and cellular adhesion properties on tumour-immune dynamics', Mathematical medicine and biology: a journal of the IMA, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 215-240.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title A model of the effects of cancer cell motility and cellular adhesion properties on tumour-immune dynamics
Author(s) Frascoli, F
Flood, E
Kim, P
Year 2017
Journal name Mathematical medicine and biology: a journal of the IMA
Volume number 34
Issue number 2
Start page 215
End page 240
Total pages 26
Publisher Oxford University Press
Abstract We present a three-dimensional model simulating the dynamics of an anti-cancer T-cell response against a small, avascular, early-stage tumour. Interactions at the tumour site are accounted for using an agent-based model (ABM), while immune cell dynamics in the lymph node are modelled as a system of delay differential equations (DDEs). We combine these separate approaches into a two-compartment hybrid ABM-DDE system to capture the T-cell response against the tumour. In the ABM at the tumour site, movement of tumour cells is modelled using effective physical forces with a specific focus on cell-to-cell adhesion properties and varying levels of tumour cell motility, thus taking into account the ability of cancer cells to spread and form clusters. We consider the effectiveness of the immune response over a range of parameters pertaining to tumour cell motility, cell-to-cell adhesion strength and growth rate. We also investigate the dependence of outcomes on the distribution of tumour cells. Low tumour cell motility is generally a good indicator for successful tumour eradication before relapse, while high motility leads, almost invariably, to relapse and tumour escape. In general, the effect of cell-to-cell adhesion on prognosis is dependent on the level of tumour cell motility, with an often unpredictable cross influence between adhesion and motility, which can lead to counterintuitive effects. In terms of overall tumour shape and structure, the spatial distribution of cancer cells in clusters of various sizes has shown to be strongly related to the likelihood of extinction. © The authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. All rights reserved.
Subject Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) cancer
dynamical systems
immunotherapy
mathematical biology
DOI - identifier 10.1093/imammb/dqw004
Copyright notice © The authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. All rights reserved.
ISSN 1477-8602
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