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Mathematical modelling and simulation of an Epithelial-Mesenchymal-like transition in cancer cells

Presented by: 
Niklas Kolbe
Thursday 10th December 2015 - 13:30 to 14:15
INI Seminar Room 1
Recent biological work has revealed the existence of cells within the body of a tumour that differ in their level of differentiation from the bulk of the cancer cells. Compared to the more usual differentiated cancer cells, these cancer stem cells exhibit higher motility, they are more resilient to therapy, and are able to metastasise to secondary locations within the organism. They seem to transition from the differentiated cancer cells via a (de-)differentiation program, termed Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition, which can also be found in normal tissue. The compound of the tumour as well as its internal dynamics affect the extracellular environment, in particular the invasion of the Extracellular Matrix.  

In this talk we introduce a model that combines the transition between the afore-mentioned types of cancer cells based on the (microscopic) dynamics of the Epidermal Growth Factors, with the (macroscopic) invasion of the Extracellular Matrix by the cancer cell ensemble. Moreover, we present numerical experiments exhibiting the dynamics of both types of cancer cells and elaborate on the numerical methods that we use.

[1] N. Hellmann, N. Kolbe, N. Sfakianakis: A mathematical insight in the epithelial–mesenchymal-like transition in cancer cells and its effect in the invasion of the extracellular matrix, Bull Braz Math Soc (2016).  

[2] N. Kolbe, J. Katuchova, N. Sfakianakis, N. Hellmann, M. Lukacova: A study on time discretization and adaptive mesh refinement methods for the simulation of cancer invasion: The urokinase model, Appl Math Comp (2015).
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons