Mathematical modelling of cancer invasion of tissue: dynamic heterogeneity
M.A.J Chaplain - The SIMBIOS Centre, Division of Mathematics, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, United Kingdom (email)
Solid tumours grow through two distinct phases: the avascular and the
vascular phase. During the avascular growth phase, the size of the
solid tumour is restricted largely by a diffusion-limited nutrient
supply and the solid tumour remains localised and grows to a maximum
of a few millimetres in diameter. However, during the vascular growth
stage the process of cancer invasion of peritumoral tissue can and
does take place. A crucial component of tissue invasion is the
over-expression by the cancer cells of proteolytic enzyme
activity, such as the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and
matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). uPA itself initiates the activation
of an enzymatic cascade that primarily involves the activation of
plasminogen and subsequently its matrix degrading protein
plasmin. Degradation of the matrix then enables the cancer cells to
migrate through the tissue and subsequently to spread to secondary
sites in the body.
Keywords: cancer invasion of tissue, matrix degrading enzyme,chemotaxis, haptotaxis, spatio-temporal heterogeneity.
Received: February 2006; Revised: June 2006; Published: July 2006.
2010 Impact Factor.909