Integrating evolutionary game theory into an agent-based model of ductal carcinoma in situ: Role of gap junctions in cancer progression

Malekian, N ; Sharif University of Technology

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  1. Type of Document: Article
  2. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2016.08.011
  3. Publisher: Elsevier Ireland Ltd
  4. Abstract:
  5. Background and objective There are many cells with various phenotypic behaviors in cancer interacting with each other. For example, an apoptotic cell may induce apoptosis in adjacent cells. A living cell can also protect cells from undergoing apoptosis and necrosis. These survival and death signals are propagated through interaction pathways between adjacent cells called gap junctions. The function of these signals depends on the cellular context of the cell receiving them. For instance, a receiver cell experiencing a low level of oxygen may interpret a received survival signal as an apoptosis signal. In this study, we examine the effect of these signals on tumor growth. Methods We make an evolutionary game theory component in order to model the signal propagation through gap junctions. The game payoffs are defined as a function of cellular context. Then, the game theory component is integrated into an agent-based model of tumor growth. After that, the integrated model is applied to ductal carcinoma in situ, a type of early stage breast cancer. Different scenarios are explored to observe the impact of the gap junction communication and parameters of the game theory component on cancer progression. We compare these scenarios by using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results The Wilcoxon signed-rank test succeeds in proving a significant difference between the tumor growth of the model before and after considering the gap junction communication. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test also proves that the tumor growth significantly depends on the oxygen threshold of turning survival signals into apoptosis. Conclusions In this study, the gap junction communication is modeled by using evolutionary game theory to illustrate its role at early stage cancers such as ductal carcinoma in situ. This work indicates that the gap junction communication and the oxygen threshold of turning survival signals into apoptosis can notably affect cancer progression
  6. Keywords:
  7. Agent-based modeling ; Autonomous agents ; Cell death ; Cells ; Computational methods ; Cytology ; Diseases ; Epitaxial growth ; Oxygen ; Signal receivers ; Tumors ; Agent-based model ; Cancer modeling ; Ductal carcinoma ; Ductal carcinoma in situ ; Early-stage breast cancer ; Evolutionary game theory ; Phenotypic behavior ; Wilcoxon signed rank test ; Game theory
  8. Source: Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine ; Volume 136 , 2016 , Pages 107-117 ; 01692607 (ISSN)
  9. URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169260716302140