The role of acidity in solid tumour growth and invasion

J Theor Biol. 2005 Aug 21;235(4):476-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2005.02.001. Epub 2005 Mar 16.


Acidic pH is a common characteristic of human tumours. It has a significant impact on tumour progression and response to therapies. In this paper, we develop a simple model of three-dimensional tumour growth to examine the role of acidosis in the interaction between normal and tumour cell populations. Both vascular and avascular tumour dynamics are investigated, and a number of different behaviours are observed. Whilst an avascular tumour always proceeds to a benign steady state, a vascular tumour may display either benign or invasive dynamics, depending on the value of a critical parameter. Analysis of the model allows us to assess novel therapies directed towards changing the level of acidity within the tumour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Models, Biological
  • Necrosis
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic