Thursday, January 8, 2015

Joint fitting reveals hidden interactions in tumor growth

Lucas Barberis, Miaguel Ángel Pasquale, Carlos Alberto Condat
Tumor growth is often the result of the simultaneous development of two or more cancer cell populations. Their interaction between them characterizes the system evolution. To obtain information about these interactions we apply the recently developed vector universality (VUN) formalism to various instances of competition between tumor populations. The formalism allows us: (a) to quantify the growth mechanisms of a HeLa cell colony, describing the phenotype switching responsible for its fast expansion, (b) to reliably reconstruct the evolution of the necrotic and viable fractions in both in vitro and in vivo tumors using data for the time dependences of the total masses, and (c) to show how the shedding of cells leading to subspheroid formation is beneficial to both the spheroid and subspheroid populations, suggesting that shedding is a strong positive influence on cancer dissemination.