Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Allele Frequency Spectrum in a Cancer Cell Population

Allele Frequency Spectrum in a Cancer Cell Population

Hisashi Ohtsuki, Hideki Innan
 

Abstract

A cancer grows from a single cell, thereby constituting a large cell population. In this work, we are interested in how mutations accumulate in a cancer cell population. We provide a theoretical framework of the stochastic process in a cancer cell population and obtain near exact expressions of allele frequency spectrum or AFS (only continuous approximation is involved) from both forward and backward treatments under a simple setting; all cells undergo cell division and die at constant rates, b and d, respectively, such that the entire population grows exponentially. This setting means that once a parental cancer cell is established, in the following growth phase, all mutations are assumed to have no effect on b or d (i.e., neutral or passengers). Our theoretical results show that the difference from organismal population genetics is mainly in the coalescent time scale, and the mutation rate is defined per cell division, not per time unit (e.g., generation). Except for these two factors, the basic logic are very similar between organismal and cancer population genetics, indicating that a number of well established theories of organismal population genetics could be translated to cancer population genetics with simple modifications.

 

 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Heterogeneity in the tumour size dynamics differentiates Vemurafenib, Dabrafenib and Trametinib in metastatic melanoma

Heterogeneity in the tumour size dynamics differentiates Vemurafenib, Dabrafenib and Trametinib in metastatic melanoma

Hitesh Mistry, David Orrell, Raluca Eftimie
 

Abstract

Molecular heterogeneity in tumours leads to variability in drug response both between patients and across lesions within a patient. These sources of variability could be explored through analysis of routinely collected clinical trial imaging data. We applied a mathematical model of tumour growth to analyse both within and between patient variability in tumour size dynamics to clinical data from three drugs, Vemurafenib, Dabrafenib and Trametinib, used in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. The analysis revealed: 1) existence of homogeneity in drug response and resistance development within a patient; 2) tumour shrinkage rate does not relate to rate of resistance development; 3) Vemurafenib and Dabrafenib, two BRAF inhibitors, have different variability in tumour shrinkage rates. Overall these results show how analysis of the dynamics of individual lesions can shed light on the within and between patient differences in tumour shrinkage and resistance rates, which could be used to gain a macroscopic understanding of tumour heterogeneity.

Keywords: heterogeneity, vemurafenib, dabrafenib, trametinib, melanoma, metastasis 

 

 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Microenvironmental cooperation promotes early spread and bistability of a Warburg-like phenotype

Microenvironmental cooperation promotes early spread and bistability of a Warburg-like phenotype

We introduce an in silico model for the initial spread of an aberrant phenotype with Warburg-like overflow metabolism within a healthy homeostatic tissue in contact with a nutrient reservoir (the blood), aimed at characterizing the role of the microenvironment for aberrant growth. Accounting for cellular metabolic activity, competition for nutrients, spatial diffusion and their feedbacks on aberrant replication and death rates, we obtain a phase portrait where distinct asymptotic whole-tissue states are found upon varying the tissue-blood turnover rate and the level of blood-borne primary nutrient. Over a broad range of parameters, the spreading dynamics is bistable as random fluctuations can impact the final state of the tissue. Such a behaviour turns out to be linked to the re-cycling of overflow products by non-aberrant cells. Quantitative insight on the overall emerging picture is provided by a spatially homogeneous version of the model.

link: https://arxiv.org/abs/1701.06781

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Novel computational method for predicting polytherapy switching strategies to overcome tumor heterogeneity and evolution

Novel computational method for predicting polytherapy switching strategies to overcome tumor heterogeneity and evolution

 

Vanessa D JonssonColin M Blakely, Luping Lin, Saurabh Asthana, Victor Olivas, Matthew A Gubens, Nikolai Matni, Boris C Bastian, Barry S Taylor, John C Doyle, Trever G Bivona
 

Abstract

The success of targeted cancer therapy is limited by drug resistance that can result from tumor genetic heterogeneity. The current approach to address resistance typically involves initiating a new treatment after clinical/radiographic disease progression, ultimately resulting in futility in most patients. Towards a potential alternative solution, we developed a novel computational framework that uses human cancer profiling data to systematically identify dynamic, pre-emptive, and sometimes non-intuitive treatment strategies that can better control tumors in real-time. By studying lung adenocarcinoma clinical specimens and preclinical models, our computational analyses revealed that the best anti-cancer strategies addressed existing resistant subpopulations as they emerged dynamically during treatment. In some cases, the best computed treatment strategy used unconventional therapy switching while the bulk tumor was responding, a prediction we confirmed in vitro. The new framework presented here could guide the principled implementation of dynamic molecular monitoring and treatment strategies to improve cancer control.

 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Optimal structure of heterogeneous stem cell niche: The importance of cell migration in delaying tumorigenesis

Optimal structure of heterogeneous stem cell niche: The importance of cell migration in delaying tumorigenesis

Leili ShahriyariAli Mahdipour Shirayeh

Abstract

Studying the stem cell niche architecture is a crucial step for investigating the process of oncogenesis and obtaining an effective stem cell therapy for various cancers. Recently, it has been observed that there are two groups of stem cells in the stem cell niche collaborating with each other to maintain tissue homeostasis. One group comprises the border stem cells, which is responsible to control the number of non-stem cells as well as stem cells. The other group, central stem cells, regulates the stem cell niche. In the present study, we develop a bi-compartmental stochastic model for the stem cell niche to study the spread of mutants within the niche. The analytic calculations and numeric simulations, which are in perfect agreement, reveal that in order to delay the spread of mutants in the stem cell niche, a small but non-zero number of stem cell proliferations must occur in the central stem cell compartment. Moreover, the migration of border stem cells to the central stem cell compartment delays the spread of mutants. Furthermore, the fixation probability of mutants in the stem cell niche is independent of types of stem cell division as long as all stem cells do not divide fully asymmetrically. Additionally, the progeny of central stem cells have a much higher chance than the progeny of border stem cells to take over the entire niche.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

3D Hybrid Modelling of Vascular Network Formation


3D hybrid modeling of vascular network formation


Abstract
We develop an agent-based model of vasculogenesis, the de novo formation of blood vessels. Endothelial cells in the vessel network are viewed as linearly elastic spheres and are of two types: vessel elements are contained within the network; tip cells are located at endpoints. Tip cells move in response to forces due to interactions with neighbouring vessel elements, the local tissue environment, chemotaxis and a persistence force modeling their tendency to continue moving in the same direction. Vessel elements experience similar forces but not chemotaxis. An angular persistence force representing local tissue interactions stabilises buckling instabilities due to proliferation. Vessel elements proliferate, at rates that depend on their degree of stretch: elongated elements proliferate more rapidly than compressed elements. Following division, new cells are more likely to form new sprouts if the parent vessel is highly compressed and to be incorporated into the parent vessel if it is stretched. 
Model simulations reproduce key features of vasculogenesis. Parameter sensitivity analyses reveal significant changes in network size and morphology on varying the chemotactic sensitivity of tip cells, and the sensitivities of the proliferation rate and sprouting probability to mechanical stretch. Varying chemotactic sensitivity also affects network directionality. Branching and network density are influenced by the sprouting probability. Glyphs depicting multiple network properties show how network quantities change over time and as model parameters vary. We also show how glyphs constructed from in vivo data could be used to discriminate between normal and tumour vasculature and, ultimately, for model validation. We conclude that our biomechanical hybrid model generates vascular networks similar to those generated from in vitro and in vivo experiments.

Link:arXiv:1610.00661 [q-bio.QM]
 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Collateral sensitivity networks reveal evolutionary instability and novel treatment strategies in ALK mutated non-small cell lung cancer.

Collateral sensitivity networks reveal evolutionary instability and novel treatment strategies in ALK mutated non-small cell lung cancer.

Andrew DhawanDaniel NicholFumi KinoseMohamed E. AbazeedAndriy MarusykEric B.HauraJacob G. Scott

Abstract

Drug resistance remains an elusive problem in cancer therapy, particularly with novel targeted therapy approaches. Much work is currently focused upon the development of an increasing arsenal of targeted therapies, towards oncogenic driver genes such as ALK-EML4, to overcome the inevitable resistance that develops as therapies are continued over time. The current clinical paradigm after failure of first line ALK TKI is to administer another drug in the same class. As to which drug however, the answer is uncertain, as clinical evidence is lacking. To address this shortcoming, we evolved resistance in an ALK rearranged non-small cell lung cancer line (H3122) to a panel of 4 ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors used in clinic, and performed a collateral sensitivity analysis to each of the other drugs. We found that all of the ALK inhibitor resistant cell lines displayed a significant cross-resistance to all other ALK inhibitors. To test for the stability of the resistance phenotypes, we evaluated the ALK-inhibitor sensitivities after drug holidays of varying length (1, 3, 7, 14, and 21 days). We found the resistance patterns to be stochastic and dynamic, with few conserved patterns. This unpredictability led us to an expanded search for treatment options for resistant cells. In this expansion, we tested a panel of 6 more anti-cancer agents for collateral sensitivity among the resistant cells, uncovering a multitude of possibilities for further treatment, including cross-sensitivity to several standard cytotoxic therapies as well as the HSP-90 inhibitors. Taken together, these results imply that resistance to targeted therapy in non-small cell lung cancer is truly a moving target; but also one where there are many opportunities to re-establish sensitivities where there was once resistance.