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How the growth rate of host cells affects cancer risk in a deterministic way

Clément DRAGHI
Clément Draghi
CORIA - Université de Rouen
JPG - 18.9 ko

Cancer incidence depends strongly on the tissue considered and, for instance, the probability to have a colorectal cancer can be up to 7 times greater than the probability for a thyroid cancer, or ten times the one for a glioma. It was recently asserted that the variation in cancer risk was mostly due to “bad luck”. Based on a deterministic model describing the interactions between the host, immune and tumor cells and allowing to simulate spatial growth of tumor, we show that the probability for a clinically significant tumor increases with growth rate of host cells. This is mainly due to the fact that malignant cells have a growth rate being, at least, twice the growth rate of the host cells from which they are issued (mutated). More active the tissue, smaller the number of possibilities the parameter values for which the microenvironment can resist against tumor proliferation. The deleterous issue of a tumor growth is indeed mainly driven by parameter values of our model, that is, by the conditions under which the different populations of cells interact. Such a feature is in agreement with the largest cancer risk found in tissue with a high regeneration rate. Moreover, the nature of cellular interactions is thus clearly driven by the status of the tissue considered, a degraded tissue thus being not a tissue with a reduced growth rate, but rather a tissue whose interactions with the immune system and tumor cells do not longer prevent from a tumor growth. Dynamically speaking, it is also shown that a chaotic regime at the tumor site scale (roughly 100 μm3 in our simulations) leads to a less agressive (active) tumor at the tissue scale (greater than 1 mm3).

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