Cancer therapeutic potential of combinatorial immuno- and vasomodulatory interventions

H. Hatzikirou, J. C.L. Alfonso, S. Mühle, C. Stern, S. Weiss, M. Meyer-Hermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Currently, most of the basic mechanisms governing tumour-immune system interactions, in combination with modulations of tumour-associated vasculature, are far from being completely understood. Here, we propose a mathematical model of vascularized tumour growth, where the main novelty is the modelling of the interplay between functional tumour vasculature and effector cell recruitment dynamics. Parameters are calibrated on the basis of different in vivo immunocompromised Rag1-/- and wild-type (WT) BALB/c murine tumour growth experiments. The model analysis supports that tumour vasculature normalization can be a plausible and effective strategy to treat cancer when combined with appropriate immunostimulations. We find that improved levels of functional tumour vasculature, potentially mediated by normalization or stress alleviation strategies, can provide beneficial outcomes in terms of tumour burden reduction and growth control. Normalization of tumour blood vessels opens a therapeutic windowof opportunity to augment the antitumour immune responses, as well as to reduce intratumoral immunosuppression and induced hypoxia due to vascular abnormalities. The potential success of normalizing tumour-associated vasculature closely depends on the effector cell recruitment dynamics and tumour sizes. Furthermore, an arbitrary increase in the initial effector cell concentration does not necessarily imply better tumour control.We evidence the existence of an optimal concentration range of effector cells for tumour shrinkage. Based on these findings,we suggest a theory-driven therapeutic proposal that optimally combines immuno- and vasomodulatory interventions.

Original languageBritish English
Article number20150439
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number112
StatePublished - 6 Nov 2015


  • Immunomodulatory interventions
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Murine tumour growth experiments
  • Tumour-immune system interactions
  • Vascular normalization


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