Chalmers Conferences, 9th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology

Multiscale modelling and analysis for cancer development: exploring the role of matrix-degrading enzymes and adhesion in invasion
Dumitru Trucu, Mark A. J. Chaplain

Last modified: 2014-03-31


Most processes in biology and medicine occur over different but inter-connected spatial and temporal scales – from genes to cells to tissues to organs to populations. Known as one of the “hallmarks of cancer”, cancer invasion is a complex “multi-scale” phenomenon involving many inter-related genetic, biochemical and cellular processes at many different spatial and temporal scale that play a crucial role in the overall cancer development.


The process of invasion consists of cancer cells secreting various matrix-degrading enzymes, which degrade the surrounding tissue or extracellular matrix. Combining abnormal proliferation with altered cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion conditions favourable for migration, the cancer cells actively spread locally into the surrounding tissue.


As these multiscale phenomena lead naturally to a question concerning the establishment of a fundamental framework that would enable a rigorous analysis and modelling of cancer invasion, in this talk we will first present a novel multiscale modelling framework involving two scales - cell and tissue. This will be accompanied by a novel multiscale analysis framework, which is based on our new concept of “three-scale convergence”. We will then present computational simulation results of our multiscale moving boundary model and finally discuss a number of important fundamental properties that follow.


cancer invasion, multiscale modelling