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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 253-272
Original Article

Different Strategies for Cancer Treatment: Mathematical Modelling

Bogoliubov Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Moscow Region, Russia

Received 1 August 2007; Accepted 10 September 2008

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We formulate and analyse a mathematical model describing immune response to avascular tumour under the influence of immunotherapy and chemotherapy and their combinations as well as vaccine treatments. The effect of vaccine therapy is considered as a parametric perturbation of the model. In the case of a weak immune response, neither immunotherapy nor chemotherapy is found to cause tumour regression to a small size, which would be below the clinically detectable threshold. Numerical simulations show that the efficiency of vaccine therapy depends on both the tumour size and the condition of immune system as well as on the response of the organism to vaccination. In particular, we found that vaccine therapy becomes more effective when used without time delay from a prescribed date of vaccination after surgery and is ineffective without preliminary treatment. For a strong immune response, our model predicts the tumour remission under vaccine therapy. Our study of successive chemo/immuno, immuno/chemo and concurrent chemoimmunotherapy shows that the chemo/immuno sequence is more effective while concurrent chemoimmunotherapy is more sparing.