A Cellular Automata Model of Tumor–Immune System Interactions

Document Type



Mathematics (HMC)

Publication Date



We present a hybrid cellular automata–partial differential equation model of moderate complexity to describe the interactions between a growing tumor next to a nutrient source and the immune system of the host organism. The model allows both temporal and two-dimensional spatial evolution of the system under investigation and is comprised of biological cell metabolism rules derived from both the experimental and mathematical modeling literature. We present numerical simulations that display behaviors which are qualitatively similar to those exhibited in tumor–immune system interaction experiments. These include spherical tumor growth, stable and unstable oscillatory tumor growth, satellitosis and tumor infiltration by immune cells. Finally, the relationship between these different growth regimes and key system parameters is discussed.

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© 2006 Elsevier