Calculus from the past: multiple delay systems arising in cancer cell modelling

Graeme Charles Wake, Helen M Byrne


Nonlocal calculus is often overlooked in the mathematics curriculum. In this paper we present an interesting new class of nonlocal problems that arise from modelling the growth and division of cells, especially cancer cells, as they progress through the cell cycle. The cellular biomass is assumed to be unstructured in size or position, and its evolution governed by a time-dependent system of ordinary differential equations with multiple time delays. The system is linear and taken to be autonomous. As a result, it is possible to reduce its solution to that of a nonlinear matrix eigenvalue problem. This method is illustrated by considering case studies, including a model of the cell cycle developed recently by Simms, Bean and Koeber. The paper concludes by explaining how asymptotic expressions for the distribution of cells across the compartments can be determined and used to assess the impact of different chemotherapeutic agents.



nonlocal calculus, cell phases, asymptotics


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ANZIAM Journal, ISSN 1446-8735, copyright Australian Mathematical Society.