Effects of drug resistance in the tumour-immune system with chemotherapy treatment

José Trobia* (Corresponding Author), Enrique C. Gabrick, Evandro G. Seifert, Fernando S. Borges, Paulo Ricardo Protachevicz, Jose D. Szezech Jr, Kelly C. Iarosz, Moises S. Santos, Iberê L. Caldas, Kun Tian, Hai Peng Ren, Celso Grebogi, Antonio M. Batista

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cancer is a term used to refer to a large set of diseases. The cancerous cells grow and divide and, as a result, they form tumours that grow in size. The immune system recognise the cancerous cells and attack them, though, it can be weakened by the cancer. One type of cancer treatment is chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Clinical, experimental, and theoretical research has been developed to understand the dynamics of cancerous cells with chemotherapy treatment, as well as the interaction between tumour growth and
immune system. We study a mathematical model that describes the cancer growth, immune system response, and chemotherapeutic agents. The immune system is composed of resting cells that are converted to hunting cells to
combat the cancer. In this work, we consider drug sensitive and resistant cancer cells. We show that the tumour growth can be controlled not only by means of different chemotherapy protocols, but also by the immune system that attacks both sensitive and resistant cancer cells. Furthermore, for all considered protocols, we demonstrate that the time delay from resting to hunting cells plays a crucial role in the combat against cancer cells.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Jul 2020


  • tumour-immune
  • chemotherapy
  • drug resistance


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