Randles A, Wirsching HG, Dean JA, Cheng YK, Emerson S, Pattwell SS, Holland EC, Michor F. 2021. Computational modelling of perivascular-niche dynamics for the optimization of treatment schedules for glioblastoma. Nature biomedical engineering. 5(4):346-359. Pubmed: 33864039 DOI:10.1038/s41551-021-00710-3


Glioblastoma stem-like cells dynamically transition between a chemoradiation-resistant state and a chemoradiation-sensitive state. However, physical barriers in the tumour microenvironment restrict the delivery of chemotherapy to tumour compartments that are distant from blood vessels. Here, we show that a massively parallel computational model of the spatiotemporal dynamics of the perivascular niche that incorporates glioblastoma stem-like cells and differentiated tumour cells as well as relevant tissue-level phenomena can be used to optimize the administration schedules of concurrent radiation and temozolomide-the standard-of-care treatment for glioblastoma. In mice with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-driven glioblastoma, the model-optimized treatment schedule increased the survival of the animals. For standard radiation fractionation in patients, the model predicts that chemotherapy may be optimally administered about one hour before radiation treatment. Computational models of the spatiotemporal dynamics of the tumour microenvironment could be used to predict tumour responses to a broader range of treatments and to optimize treatment regimens.

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Franziska Michor uses the tools of theoretical evolutionary biology, applied mathematics, statistics, and computational biology to address important questions in cancer research.

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