Quantifying efficacy of chemotherapy of brain tumors with homogeneous and heterogeneous drug delivery

Kristin R. Swanson, Ellsworth C. Alvord, J. D. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations


Gliomas are diffuse and invasive brain tumors with the nefarious ability to evade even seemingly draconian treatment measures. Here we introduce a simple mathematical model for drug delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to treat such a tumor. The model predicts that heterogeneity in drug delivery related to variability in vascular density throughout the brain results in an apparent tumor reduction based on imaging studies despite continual spread beyond the resolution of the imaging modality. We discuss a clinical example for which the model-predicted scenario is relevant. The analysis and results suggest an explanation for the clinical problem of the long-standing confounding observation of shrinkage of the lesion in certain areas of the brain with continued growth in other areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-237
Number of pages15
JournalActa Biotheoretica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Philosophy
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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