Directionality of macrophages movement in tumour invasion: a multiscale moving boundary approach

Szabolcs Suveges, Raluca Eftimie, Dumitru Trucu (Lead / Corresponding author)

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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Invasion of the surrounding tissue is one of the recognised hallmarks of cancer (Hanahan and Weinberg in Cell 100: 57–70, 2000., which is accomplished through a complex heterotypic multiscale dynamics involving tissue-scale random and directed movement of the population of both cancer cells and other accompanying cells (including here, the family of tumour-associated macrophages) as well as the emerging cell-scale activity of both the matrix-degrading enzymes and the rearrangement of the cell-scale constituents of the extracellular matrix (ECM) fibres. The involved processes include not only the presence of cell proliferation and cell adhesion (to other cells and to the extracellular matrix), but also the secretion of matrix-degrading enzymes. This is as a result of cancer cells as well as macrophages, which are one of the most abundant types of immune cells in the tumour micro-environment. In large tumours, these tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) have a tumour-promoting phenotype, contributing to tumour proliferation and spread. In this paper, we extend a previous multiscale moving-boundary mathematical model for cancer invasion, by considering also the multiscale effects of TAMs, with special focus on the influence that their directional movement exerts on the overall tumour progression. Numerical investigation of this new model shows the importance of the interactions between pro-tumour TAMs and the fibrous ECM, highlighting the impact of the fibres on the spatial structure of solid tumour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148
Number of pages50
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number12
Early online date19 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Cancer invasion
  • Cell adhesion
  • Computational modelling
  • Convolution
  • Flux limiter
  • Macrophages
  • Multiscale modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pharmacology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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