Mathematical modeling of solid cancer growth with angiogenesis

Theor Biol Med Model. 2012 Feb 2:9:2. doi: 10.1186/1742-4682-9-2.


Background: Cancer arises when within a single cell multiple malfunctions of control systems occur, which are, broadly, the system that promote cell growth and the system that protect against erratic growth. Additional systems within the cell must be corrupted so that a cancer cell, to form a mass of any real size, produces substances that promote the growth of new blood vessels. Multiple mutations are required before a normal cell can become a cancer cell by corruption of multiple growth-promoting systems.

Methods: We develop a simple mathematical model to describe the solid cancer growth dynamics inducing angiogenesis in the absence of cancer controlling mechanisms.

Results: The initial conditions supplied to the dynamical system consist of a perturbation in form of pulse: The origin of cancer cells from normal cells of an organ of human body. Thresholds of interacting parameters were obtained from the steady states analysis. The existence of two equilibrium points determine the strong dependency of dynamical trajectories on the initial conditions. The thresholds can be used to control cancer.

Conclusions: Cancer can be settled in an organ if the following combination matches: better fitness of cancer cells, decrease in the efficiency of the repairing systems, increase in the capacity of sprouting from existing vascularization, and higher capacity of mounting up new vascularization. However, we show that cancer is rarely induced in organs (or tissues) displaying an efficient (numerically and functionally) reparative or regenerative mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / etiology*