IMI Interdisciplinary Mathematics InstituteCollege of Arts and Sciences

A multiscale mathematical model of tumour invasive growth

  • Feb. 29, 2016
  • 1:15 p.m.
  • LeConte 312


Known as one of the hallmarks of cancer, the cancer cells invasion of human body tissue is a complicated spatio-temporal multiscale process which enables a localised solid tumour to transform into a systemic, metastatic and fatal disease. This process explores and takes advantage of the reciprocal relation that the solid tumours establish with the extracellular matrix (ECM) components and other multiple distinct cell types from the surrounding mi- croenvironment. Through the secretion of various proteolitic enzymes such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) or the urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), the cancer cells population alters the configuration of the surrounding ECM composition and overcomes the physical barriers to ultimately achieve local cancer spread into the surrounding tissue.

The active interplay between the tissue-scale tumour dynamics and the molecular mechanics of the involved proteolitic enzymes at cell-scale underines the biologically multiscale character of invasion, and raises the challenge of modelling this process with an appropriate multiscale approach. In this talk, a new two-scale moving boundary model of cancer invasion will be presented that explore the tissue scale tumour dynamics in conjunction with the molecular dynamics of urokinase plasminogen activation system. Building on the multiscale moving boundary method proposed in (2013), the modelling proposed here allows us to study the changes in tissue scale tumour morphology caused by the cell-scale uPA micro-dynamics occurring along the invasive edge of the tumour. Our computational simulation results demonstrate a range of heterogeneous dynamics which are qualitatively similar to the invasive growth patterns observed in a number of different types of cancer, such as the tumour infiltrative growth patterns discussed in (2012).

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