PURPOSE - To develop and investigate a set of biophysical models based on a mechanically coupled reaction-diffusion model of the spatiotemporal evolution of tumor growth after radiation therapy.
METHODS AND MATERIALS - Post-radiation therapy response is modeled using a cell death model (M), a reduced proliferation rate model (M), and cell death and reduced proliferation model (M). To evaluate each model, rats (n = 12) with C6 gliomas were imaged with diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and contrast-enhanced MRI at 7 time points over 2 weeks. Rats received either 20 or 40 Gy between the third and fourth imaging time point. Diffusion-weighted MRI was used to estimate tumor cell number within enhancing regions in contrast-enhanced MRI data. Each model was fit to the spatiotemporal evolution of tumor cell number from time point 1 to time point 5 to estimate model parameters. The estimated model parameters were then used to predict tumor growth at the final 2 imaging time points. The model prediction was evaluated by calculating the error in tumor volume estimates, average surface distance, and voxel-based cell number.
RESULTS - For both the rats treated with either 20 or 40 Gy, significantly lower error in tumor volume, average surface distance, and voxel-based cell number was observed for the M and M models compared with the M model. The M model fit, however, had significantly lower sum squared error compared with the M and M models.
CONCLUSIONS - The results of this study indicate that for both doses, the M and M models result in accurate predictions of tumor growth, whereas the M model poorly describes response to radiation therapy.
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