INFM - Dept. of Physics, Polytechnic of Torino, C.so Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
LIMA Bioinformatics Center, Bioindustry Park of Canavese, Via Ribes 5, 10010 Colleretto Giacosa, TO, Italy
The physical interactions of a growing tumor mass with the host tissue (boundary conditions) play an important role in the dynamics of the tumor and their comprehension is essential for designing new therapeutic tools and methods against cancer. Starting from experiments and biological information, we focus here on the analysis of the effects of the coupling between the host's mechanical properties and some relevant cellular processes involved in the growth of multicellular tumor spheroids. The physical-mathematical model proposed here to describe such a coupling and the respective numerical simulations, after validation through a quantitative comparison with experimental data, will be applied to support biological hypotheses previously formulated and to propose new themes of investigation.
(Received April 20 2004)
(Revised August 16 2004)
(Accepted October 7 2004)
(Online publication January 28 2005)