Memory versus effector immune responses in oncolytic virotherapies

Cicely Macnamara, Raluca Eftimie (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    The main priority when designing cancer immuno-therapies has been to seek viable biological mechanisms that lead to permanent cancer eradication or cancer control. Understanding the delicate balance between the role of effector and memory cells on eliminating cancer cells remains an elusive problem in immunology. Here we make an initial investigation into this problem with the help of a mathematical model for oncolytic virotherapy; although the model can in fact be made general enough to be applied also to other immunological problems. According to this model, we find that long-term cancer control is associated with a large number of persistent effector cells (irrespective of the initial peak in effector cell numbers). However, this large number of persistent effector cells is sustained by a relatively large number of memory cells. Moreover, the results of the mathematical model suggest that cancer control from a dormant state cannot be predicted by the size of the memory population.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
    Early online date13 Apr 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2015


    • Cancer modelling
    • Effector and memory cells
    • Tumour control
    • Tumour dormancy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Applied Mathematics
    • Statistics and Probability
    • Modelling and Simulation
    • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
    • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
    • General Immunology and Microbiology
    • General Medicine


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