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Math Med Biol. 2016 Sep;33(3):253-71. doi: 10.1093/imammb/dqv017. Epub 2015 May 11.

Extreme protraction for low-grade gliomas: theoretical proof of concept of a novel therapeutical strategy.

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Departamento de Matemáticas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, ETSI Industriales, Avda. Camilo José Cela 3, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
Radiotherapy Unit, University Hospital of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.


Grade II gliomas are slowly growing primary brain tumours that affect mostly young patients and become fatal after a variable time period. Current clinical handling includes surgery as first-line treatment. Cytotoxic therapies (radiotherapy RT or chemotherapy QT) are used initially only for patients having a bad prognosis. Therapies are administered following the 'maximum dose in minimum time' principle, which is the same schedule used for high-grade brain tumours. Using mathematical models describing the growth of these tumours in response to radiotherapy, we find that an extreme protraction therapeutical strategy, i.e. enlarging substantially the time interval between RT fractions, may lead to better tumour control. Explicit formulas are found providing the optimal spacing between doses in a very good agreement with the simulations of the full 3D mathematical model approximating the tumour spatiotemporal dynamics. This idea, although breaking the well-established paradigm, has biological meaning since, in these slowly growing tumours, it may be more favourable to treat the tumour as the tumour cells leave the quiescent compartment and move into the cell cycle.


low-grade gliomas; mathematicalmodel of tumour response; radiotherapy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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