Mechanisms of tumor neovascularization

In Chapter 9 we explored general models of tumor inhibition and promotion and investigated how the requirement for blood supply influences tumor initiation and progression. The models did not make any specific assumptions about the mechanism by which the tumor induces the formation of new blood supply. Here, we will address this question. Blood vessels are built from so-called endothelial cells. As explained in Chapter 9, new endothelial cells are generated and form blood vessels if the balance...

Cancer and immune responses

As pointed out in the previous chapter, the body is characterized by defense systems which can limit the growth and pathogenicity of selfish tumor cells once they have arisen by a series of mutations. The previous chapter explored how the limitation of blood supply can prevent cancers from growing beyond a very small size and from progressing. This is a mechanism which is supported very well by experimental and clinical data, and which is also studied from a therapeutic point of view. Another...

Cellular origins of cancer

Chapter 3 presented an extensive stochastic analysis of a two-hit model. In particular we calculated the probability of creating a double-mutant as a function of time, depending on the population size and the relative fitness of the intermediate type. Chapter 4 made the first attempt to apply this model to real-life carcinogenesis, by taking account of specific features of sporadic and familial colorectal cancers. One important consideration which was not included in the analysis so far is the...

Cancer initiation onehit and twohit stochastic models

The question of the origins of cancer is among the most important in our understanding of the disease. There is no universal answer to this question, as different cancers are initiated by different mechanisms. There are however certain patterns that can be recognized. Among the most important ones is cancer initiation via the inactivation of a tumor suppressor gene. The concept has evolved during the last 30 years. A defining landmark was the discovery of the Rb gene. Retinoblastoma is a rare...

Mathematical modeling of tumorigenesis

Traditionally, scientists from many different backgrounds have been producing interesting and unexpected ideas. Their methods come from various fields, including applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, material science, fluid mechanics, population dynamics and evolutionary game theory. Broadly speaking, there are three major areas where theory has contributed the most to cancer research i Modeling in the context of epidemiology and other statistical data. One of the oldest and most...