A mathematical approach to virus therapy of glioblastomas

It is widely believed that the treatment of glioblastomas (GBM) could benefit from oncolytic virus therapy. Clinical research has shown that Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) has strong oncolytic properties. In addition, mathematical models of virus treatment of tumors have been developed in recent years. Some experiments in vitro and in vivo have been done and shown promising results, but have been never compared quantitatively with mathematical models. We use in vitro data of this virus applied to glioblastoma. Results: We describe three increasingly realistic mathematical models for the VSV-GBM in vitro experiment with progressive incorporation of time-delay effects. For the virus dynamics, we obtain results consistent with the in vitro experimental speed data only when applying the more complex and comprehensive model, with time-delay effects both in the reactive and diffusive terms. The tumor speed is given by the minimum of a very simple function that nonetheless yields results within the experimental measured range. Conclusions: We have improved a previous model with new ideas and carefully incorporated concepts from experimental results. We have shown that the delay time τ is the crucial parameter in this kind of models. We have demonstrated that our new model can satisfactorily predict the front speed for the lytic action of oncolytic VSV on glioblastoma observed in vitro. We provide a basis that can be applied in the near future to realistically simulate in vivo virus treatments of several cancers. Reviewers: This article was reviewed by Yang Kuang and Georg Luebeck. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers’ comments section ​
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