Towards the personalized treatment of glioblastoma: Integrating patient-specific clinical data in a continuous mechanical model

Maria Cristina Colombo, Chiara Giverso, Elena Faggiano, Carlo Boffano, Francesco Acerbi, Pasquale Ciarletta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive and malignant among brain tumors. In addition to uncontrolled proliferation and genetic instability, GBM is characterized by a diffuse infiltration, developing long protrusions that penetrate deeply along the fibers of the white matter. These features, combined with the underestimation of the invading GBM area by available imaging techniques, make a definitive treatment of GBM particularly difficult. A multidisciplinary approach combining mathematical, clinical and radiological data has the potential to foster our understanding of GBM evolution in every single patient throughout his/her oncological history, in order to target therapeutic weapons in a patient-specific manner. In this work, we propose a continuous mechanical model and we perform numerical simulations of GBM invasion combining the main mechano-biological characteristics of GBM with the micro-structural information extracted from radiological images, i.e. by elaborating patient-specific Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) data. The numerical simulations highlight the influence of the different biological parameters on tumor progression and they demonstrate the fundamental importance of including anisotropic and heterogeneous patient-specific DTI data in order to obtain a more accurate prediction of GBM evolution. The results of the proposed mathematical model have the potential to provide a relevant benefit for clinicians involved in the treatment of this particularly aggressive disease and, more importantly, they might drive progress towards improving tumor control and patient's prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0132887
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 17 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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