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Publication Date



Statler College of Engineering and Mining Resources


Chemical and Biomedical Engineering


A major barrier for broadening the efficacy of immunotherapies for cancer is identifying key mechanisms that limit the efficacy of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. Yet, identifying these mechanisms using human samples and mouse models for cancer remains a challenge. While interactions between cancer and the immune system are dynamic and non-linear, identifying the relative roles that biological components play in regulating anti-tumor immunity commonly relies on human intuition alone, which can be limited by cognitive biases. To assist natural intuition, modeling and simulation play an emerging role in identifying therapeutic mechanisms. To illustrate the approach, we developed a multi-scale mechanistic model to describe the control of tumor growth by a primary response of CD8+ T cells against defined tumor antigens using the B16 C57Bl/6 mouse model for malignant melanoma. The mechanistic model was calibrated to data obtained following adenovirus-based immunization and validated to data obtained following adoptive transfer of transgenic CD8+ T cells. More importantly, we use simulation to test whether the postulated network topology, that is the modeled biological components and their associated interactions, is sufficient to capture the observed anti-tumor immune response. Given the available data, the simulation results also provided a statistical basis for quantifying the relative importance of different mechanisms that underpin CD8+ T cell control of B16F10 growth. By identifying conditions where the postulated network topology is incomplete, we illustrate how this approach can be used as part of an iterative design-build-test cycle to expand the predictive power of the model.

Source Citation

Klinke DJ and Wang Q (2017) Inferring the Impact of Regulatory Mechanisms that Underpin CD8+ T Cell Control of B16 Tumor Growth In vivo Using Mechanistic Models and Simulation. Front. Pharmacol. 7:515. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2016.00515


© 2017 Klinke and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.



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