Modelling the role of cell-cell adhesion in the growth and development of carcinomas.

*(English)*Zbl 0883.92014Summary: A mathematical model is presented to describe the evolution of an avascular solid tumour in response to an externally-supplied nutrient. The growth of the tumour depends on the balance between expansive forces caused by cell proliferation and cell-cell adhesion forces which exist to maintain the tumour’s compactness. Cell-cell adhesion is incorporated into the model using the Gibbs-Thomson relation which relates the change in nutrient concentration across the tumour boundary to the local curvature, this energy being used to preserve the cell-cell adhesion forces.

Our analysis focuses on the existence and uniqueness of steady, radially-symmetric solutions to the model, and also their stability to time-dependent and asymmetric perturbations. In particular, our analysis suggests that if the energy needed to preserve the bonds of adhesion is large then the radially-symmetric configuration is stable with respect to all asymmetric perturbations, and the tumour maintains a radially-symmetric structure – this corresponds to the growth of a benign tumour. As the energy needed to maintain the tumour’s compactness diminishes so the number of modes to which the underlying radially-symmetric solution is unstable increases – this corresponds to the invasive growth of a carcinoma. The strength of the cell-cell bonds of adhesion may at some stage provide clinicians with a useful index of the invasive potential of a tumour.

Our analysis focuses on the existence and uniqueness of steady, radially-symmetric solutions to the model, and also their stability to time-dependent and asymmetric perturbations. In particular, our analysis suggests that if the energy needed to preserve the bonds of adhesion is large then the radially-symmetric configuration is stable with respect to all asymmetric perturbations, and the tumour maintains a radially-symmetric structure – this corresponds to the growth of a benign tumour. As the energy needed to maintain the tumour’s compactness diminishes so the number of modes to which the underlying radially-symmetric solution is unstable increases – this corresponds to the invasive growth of a carcinoma. The strength of the cell-cell bonds of adhesion may at some stage provide clinicians with a useful index of the invasive potential of a tumour.

##### MSC:

92C50 | Medical applications (general) |

35Q92 | PDEs in connection with biology, chemistry and other natural sciences |

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\textit{H. M. Byrne} and \textit{M. A. J. Chaplain}, Math. Comput. Modelling 24, No. 12, 1--17 (1996; Zbl 0883.92014)

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