In silico tumor control induced via alternating immunostimulating and immunosuppressive phases

A. I. Reppas, J. C.L. Alfonso, H. Hatzikirou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Despite recent advances in the field of Oncoimmunology, the success potential of immunomodulatory therapies against cancer remains to be elucidated. One of the reasons is the lack of understanding on the complex interplay between tumor growth dynamics and the associated immune system responses. Toward this goal, we consider a mathematical model of vascularized tumor growth and the corresponding effector cell recruitment dynamics. Bifurcation analysis allows for the exploration of model's dynamic behavior and the determination of these parameter regimes that result in immune-mediated tumor control. In this work, we focus on a particular tumor evasion regime that involves tumor and effector cell concentration oscillations of slowly increasing and decreasing amplitude, respectively. Considering a temporal multiscale analysis, we derive an analytically tractable mapping of model solutions onto a weakly negatively damped harmonic oscillator. Based on our analysis, we propose a theory-driven intervention strategy involving immunostimulating and immunosuppressive phases to induce long-term tumor control.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)174-186
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2016


  • immuno-modulatory interventions
  • mathematical modeling
  • tumor-immune system interactions


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