Oncolytic viral therapies is one of the new promising strategies against cancer, due to the ability of oncolytic viruses to specifically replicate inside cancer cells and kill them. There is increasing evidence that a sub-class of viruses that contain fusion proteins (triggering the formation of syncytia) can lead to better oncolytic results. Since the details of the tumour dynamics following syncytia formation are not fully understood, in this study we consider a modelling and computational approach to describe the effect of a fusogenic oncolytic virus on the multiscale dynamics of a spreading tumour. We show that for the baseline parameter values considered here, small syncytia diffusion coefficient leads to tumour reduction. Further tumour reduction can be obtained when we increase the probability of syncytia formation, in the context of different viral burst rates and death rates for individually-infected tumour cells and syncytia structures. Finally, we show that the type of syncytia diffusion coefficient (i.e., constant or density dependent) also impacts the outcome of the oncolytic viral therapy.
- Multiscale cancer modelling
- Syncytia formation
- Tumour–oncolytic virus interactions