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Productive Helping in Cooperative Groups
It has been hypothesized that continuously releasing drug molecules into the tumor over an extended period of time may significantly improve the chemotherapeutic efficacy by overcoming physical transport limitations of conventional bolus drug treatment. In this paper, we present a generalized space- and time-dependent mathematical model of drug transport and drug-cell interactions to quantitatively formulate this hypothesis. Model parameters describe: perfusion and tissue architecture (blood volume fraction and blood vessel radius); diffusion penetration distance of drug (i.e., a function of tissue compactness and drug uptake rates by tumor cells); and cell death rates (as function of history of drug uptake). We performed preliminary testing and validation of the mathematical model using in vivo experiments with different drug delivery methods on a breast cancer mouse model. Experimental data demonstrated a 3-fold increase in response using nano-vectored drug vs. free drug delivery, in excellent quantitative agreement with the model predictions. Our model results implicate that therapeutically targeting blood volume fraction, e.g., through vascular normalization, would achieve a better outcome due to enhanced drug delivery.