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BMB Article Highlight: Murphy et al. (2023)

26 Feb 2024 12:04 AM | Adrianne Jenner (Administrator)

Formation and Growth of Co-Culture Tumour Spheroids: New Compartment-Based Mathematical Models and Experiments

by  Ryan J. Murphy (University of Melbourne), Gency Gunasingh (Frazer Institute, University of Queensland), Nikolas K. Haass (Frazer Institute, University of Queensland), Matthew J. Simpson (Queensland University of Technology)

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Co-culture tumour spheroid experiments are routinely performed to investigate cancer progression and develop anti-cancer therapies. However, they are challenging to interpret as they are composed of two or more cell types that undergo multiple biological processes on overlapping timescales. In this study, we interpret new co-culture spheroid experimental data using Greenspan’s seminal monoculture model and multiple new and natural two-population extensions of Greenspan’s model. This allows us to reveal biological mechanisms that can describe the internal dynamics of growing co-culture spheroids and those that cannot. The mathematical and statistical modelling-based framework is well-suited to analyse spheroids grown with multiple different cell types. Further, the new class of compartment-based mathematical models, which includes Greenspan-type models as a special case, provide opportunities for further mathematical and biological insights. 

Dr Ryan J. Murphy performed the mathematical and statistical modelling. Ms Gency Gunasingh performed the experimental work. Professor Nikolas K. Haass and Professor Matthew J. Simpson contributed equally.

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