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Dr Khaphetsi Joseph Mahasa et al,


We present a novel mathematical model involving various immune cell populations and tumor cell populations. The model describes how tumor cells evolve and survive the brief encounter with the immune system mediated by natural killer (NK) cells and the activated CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). The model is composed of ordinary differential equations describing the interactions between these important immune lymphocytes and various tumor cell populations. Based on up-to-date knowledge of immune evasion and rational considerations, the model is designed to illustrate how tumors evade both arms of host immunity (i.e. innate and adaptive immunity). The model predicts that (a) an influx of an external source of NK cells might play a crucial role in enhancing NK-cell immune surveillance; (b) the host immune system alone is not fully effective against progression of tumor cells; (c) the development of immunoresistance by tumor cells is inevitable in tumor immune surveillance. Our model also supports the importance of infiltrating NK cells in tumor immune surveillance, which can be enhanced by NK cell-based immunotherapeutic approaches.

Journal of Theoretical Biology, Volume 404, 7 September 2016, Pages 312-330

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