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A mathematical model for tumor-immune system interactions following cytoreductive treatment

Mark Robertson-Tessi



Abstract: A mathematical model of tumor-immune interactions in the phase immediately following treatment-induced reduction of tumor burden is presented. The model accounts for tumor-induced immunosuppessive effects, such as increases in TGF-beta and the population of regulatory T cells, as well as opposing factors tending to strengthen the immune response as tumor size increases, such as increased production of antigen-presenting dendritic cells. In the phase immediately following cytoreductive treatment, the initial state of the immune system is primed for a larger tumor; cytokine concentrations and immune cell populations then undergo a transient decay to equilibrate with the new, lower tumor burden. The dynamic interplay between immunoresponsive and immunosuppressive forces during this transient period is simulated numerically, both for single and multiple cycles of chemotherapy.