Math. Model. Nat. Phenom.
Volume 15, 2020
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Published online||12 March 2020|
Efficiency of cancer treatments: in silico experiments
Department of Mathematical Sciences,
Politecnico di Torino, Italy.
2 Department of Mathematics, Universitá degli Studi di Torino, Italy.
3 Department of Physics, Universitá degli Studi di Torino, Italy.
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 11 July 2019
Despite the advances in the formulation of different therapies to fight cancer, the design of successful protocols is still a challenging problem. In order to provide some indications on the effectiveness of medical treatments, results from in silico experiments are presented based on a mathematical model comprising two cancer populations competing for resources and with different susceptibilities to the action of therapies. The focus is on the outcome of protocols in which the total dose can be administered with different time distributions. An efficiency index is proposed to quantify the effectiveness of different protocols. Simulations show that a standard dose chemotherapy is effective when the sensitive clone has a marked competitive advantage, whereas its outcome is much worse when a resistant clone emerges; obviously combinations of immune and chemotherapy work better. These results, in accord with previous finding reported in the literature, stress the importance to take into account competitive interactions among cancer clones to decide which therapeutic strategy should be adopted. However, it is not just the efficiency that changes in these different configurations of clonal composition and therapy timing. A general rule seems to emerge: when evolutionary pressures are strong, the best protocols entail and early starting of the treatment, whereas, on the contrary, when interactions among clones are weak, therapy should start later. Finally the model has been adapted to investigate the relative efficiency of different protocols, by using data reported in literature regarding experiments with breast cancer cells.
Mathematics Subject Classification: 92B05 / 92D25
Key words: Cancer modelling / population dynamics / therapeutic protocols / breast cancer
© EDP Sciences, 2020
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