Author(s): Ariosto S Silva, Robert A Gatenby
Disseminated cancer remains a nearly uniformly fatal disease. While a number of effective chemotherapies are available, tumors inevitably evolve resistance to these drugs ultimately resulting in treatment failure and cancer progression. Causes for chemotherapy failure in cancer treatment reside in multiple levels: poor vascularization, hypoxia, intratumoral high interstitial fluid pressure, and phenotypic resistance to drug-induced toxicity through upregulated xenobiotic metabolism or DNA repair mechanisms and silencing of apoptotic pathways. We propose that in order to understand the evolutionary dynamics that allow tumors to develop chemoresistance, a comprehensive quantitative model must be used to describe the interactions of cell resistance mechanisms and tumor microenvironment during chemotherapy.
Ultimately, the purpose of this model is to identify the best strategies to treat different types of tumor (tumor microenvironment, genetic/phenotypic tumor heterogeneity, tumor growth rate, etc.). We predict that the most promising strategies are those that are both cytotoxic and apply a selective pressure for a phenotype that is less fit than that of the original cancer population. This strategy, known as double bind, is different from the selection process imposed by standard chemotherapy, which tends to produce a resistant population that simply upregulates xenobiotic metabolism. In order to achieve this goal we propose to simulate different tumor progression and therapy strategies (chemotherapy and glucose restriction) targeting stabilization of tumor size and minimization of chemoresistance.Journal of Applied & Computational Mathematics