Research article

Is the Allee effect relevant in cancer evolution and therapy?

  • Received: 31 August 2020 Accepted: 08 September 2020 Published: 25 September 2020
  • MSC : 92B05, 92D25

  • Most models of cancer assume that tumor cells populations, at low densities, grow exponentially to be eventually limited by the available amount of resources such as space and nutrients. However, recent pre-clinical and clinical data of cancer onset or recurrence indicate the presence of a population dynamics in which growth rates increase with cell numbers. Such effect is analogous to the cooperative behavior in an ecosystem described by the so called Allee effect. In this work, we study the consequences of the Allee effect on cancer growth via the properties of dynamical models incorporating the Allee effect, and the implications that the occurrence of such effect has for the choice of the more appropriate therapy. Some simulations will be presented in which the model is used to fit data from in vitro experiments and clinical trials.

    Citation: Marcello Delitala, Mario Ferraro. Is the Allee effect relevant in cancer evolution and therapy?[J]. AIMS Mathematics, 2020, 5(6): 7649-7660. doi: 10.3934/math.2020489

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  • Most models of cancer assume that tumor cells populations, at low densities, grow exponentially to be eventually limited by the available amount of resources such as space and nutrients. However, recent pre-clinical and clinical data of cancer onset or recurrence indicate the presence of a population dynamics in which growth rates increase with cell numbers. Such effect is analogous to the cooperative behavior in an ecosystem described by the so called Allee effect. In this work, we study the consequences of the Allee effect on cancer growth via the properties of dynamical models incorporating the Allee effect, and the implications that the occurrence of such effect has for the choice of the more appropriate therapy. Some simulations will be presented in which the model is used to fit data from in vitro experiments and clinical trials.
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    © 2020 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)
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