Anuradha Chakravarthy
Faculty Member
Last active: 3/30/2020

A mechanically coupled reaction-diffusion model for predicting the response of breast tumors to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Weis JA, Miga MI, Arlinghaus LR, Li X, Chakravarthy AB, Abramson V, Farley J, Yankeelov TE
Phys Med Biol. 2013 58 (17): 5851-66

PMID: 23920113 · PMCID: PMC3791925 · DOI:10.1088/0031-9155/58/17/5851

There is currently a paucity of reliable techniques for predicting the response of breast tumors to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The standard approach is to monitor gross changes in tumor size as measured by physical exam and/or conventional imaging, but these methods generally do not show whether a tumor is responding until the patient has received many treatment cycles. One promising approach to address this clinical need is to integrate quantitative in vivo imaging data into biomathematical models of tumor growth in order to predict eventual response based on early measurements during therapy. In this work, we illustrate a novel biomechanical mathematical modeling approach in which contrast enhanced and diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging data acquired before and after the first cycle of neoadjuvant therapy are used to calibrate a patient-specific response model which subsequently is used to predict patient outcome at the conclusion of therapy. We present a modification of the reaction-diffusion tumor growth model whereby mechanical coupling to the surrounding tissue stiffness is incorporated via restricted cell diffusion. We use simulations and experimental data to illustrate how incorporating tissue mechanical properties leads to qualitatively and quantitatively different tumor growth patterns than when such properties are ignored. We apply the approach to patient data in a preliminary dataset of eight patients exhibiting a varying degree of responsiveness to neoadjuvant therapy, and we show that the mechanically coupled reaction-diffusion tumor growth model, when projected forward, more accurately predicts residual tumor burden at the conclusion of therapy than the non-mechanically coupled model. The mechanically coupled model predictions exhibit a significant correlation with data observations (PCC = 0.84, p < 0.01), and show a statistically significant >4 fold reduction in model/data error (p = 0.02) as compared to the non-mechanically coupled model.

MeSH Terms (11)

Adult Biomechanical Phenomena Breast Neoplasms Diffusion Female Humans Mechanical Phenomena Models, Biological Neoadjuvant Therapy Treatment Outcome Young Adult

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