A mathematical model to study the effects of drugs administration on tumor growth dynamics

Math Biosci. 2006 Apr;200(2):127-51. doi: 10.1016/j.mbs.2005.12.028. Epub 2006 Mar 3.


A mathematical model for describing the cancer growth dynamics in response to anticancer agents administration in xenograft models is discussed. The model consists of a system of ordinary differential equations involving five parameters (three for describing the untreated growth and two for describing the drug action). Tumor growth in untreated animals is modelled by an exponential growth followed by a linear growth. In treated animals, tumor growth rate is decreased by an additional factor proportional to both drug concentration and proliferating cells. The mathematical analysis conducted in this paper highlights several interesting properties of this tumor growth model. It suggests also effective strategies to design in vivo experiments in animals with potential saving of time and resources. For example, the drug concentration threshold for the tumor eradication, the delay between drug administration and tumor regression, and a time index that measures the efficacy of a treatment are derived and discussed. The model has already been employed in several drug discovery projects. Its application on a data set coming from one of these projects is discussed in this paper.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / blood
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Growth Processes / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology*
  • Tumor Burden
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays / methods*


  • Antineoplastic Agents