Mechanistic Model of Tumor Response to Immunotherapy
Understanding the exact mechanisms of immune system suppression of cancer has led to the development of immune-modulating cancer treatments, including IL-2, vaccine-based therapies, and immune checkpoint inhibitors, with promising results in recent clinical trials. This chapter explores the general strategies for mathematical modeling of immune system and tumor interaction, as well as specific examples of immunotherapy modeling, which focuses on the application of these computational models in clinical scenarios. It focuses on the general mathematical form of immunotherapy modeling using coupled ODEs and featured some of the successes of its application, including ongoing computational modeling simulations, but the complexity of the immune system and its interactions with tumor cells leads to the possibility of near-endless models. The complexity of the interactions between tumor and immune cells allows for the use of myriad modeling techniques, and understanding which models or parameters are most appropriate for a given situation requires diligence, but can potentially help identify relevant information and predict treatment response.