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SDE-driven modeling of phenotypically heterogeneous tumors: The influence of cancer cell stemness
(2018)

We deduce cell population models describing the evolution of a tumor (possibly interacting with its
environment of healthy cells) with the aid of differential equations. Thereby, different subpopulations
of cancer cells allow accounting for the tumor heterogeneity. In our settings these include cancer
stem cells known to be less sensitive to treatment and differentiated cancer cells having a higher
sensitivity towards chemo- and radiotherapy. Our approach relies on stochastic differential equations
in order to account for randomness in the system, arising e.g., by the therapy-induced decreasing
number of clonogens, which renders a pure deterministic model arguable. The equations are deduced
relying on transition probabilities characterizing innovations of the two cancer cell subpopulations,
and similarly extended to also account for the evolution of normal tissue. Several therapy approaches
are introduced and compared by way of tumor control probability (TCP) and uncomplicated tumor
control probability (UTCP). A PDE approach allows to assess the evolution of tumor and normal
tissue with respect to time and to cell population densities which can vary continuously in a given set
of states. Analytical approximations of solutions to the obtained PDE system are provided as well.