Therapeutic protocols in immunotherapy are usually proposed following the intuition and experience of the therapist. In order to deduce such protocols mathematical modeling, optimal control and simulations are used instead of the therapist's experience. Clinical efficacy of dendritic cell (DC) vaccines to cancer treatment is still unclear, since dendritic cells face several obstacles in the host environment, such as immunosuppression and poor transference to the lymph nodes reducing the vaccine effect. In view of that, we have created a mathematical murine model to measure the effects of dendritic cell injections admitting such obstacles. In addition, the model considers a therapy given by bolus injections of small duration as opposed to a continual dose. Doses timing defines the therapeutic protocols, which in turn are improved to minimize the tumor mass by an optimal control algorithm. We intend to supplement therapist's experience and intuition in the protocol's implementation. Experimental results made on mice infected with melanoma with and without therapy agree with the model. It is shown that the dendritic cells' percentage that manages to reach the lymph nodes has a crucial impact on the therapy outcome. This suggests that efforts in finding better methods to deliver DC vaccines should be pursued.
|Journal||Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2017|