Most cancer treatments cause necrotic cell deaths in the tumour microenvironment. Necrotic cells send signals to immune cells to start the wound healing process in the tissue. Therefore, we assume after stopping treatments there is a wound that needs to be healed. We develop a simple computational model to investigate cell dynamics during the wound healing process after treatments. The model predicts that the involvement of high-fitness cancer cells in the wound healing leads to fast relapse, and cancer cells outside of the wound can cause a slow recurrence of the tumour. Therefore, the absence of relapse after treatments may imply a slow-developing tumour that might not reach an observable size in the patients' lifetime. Additionally, the model indicates that the location of remaining cancer cells after treatments is an important factor in the recurrence time. The fastest recurrence happens when high-fitness cancer cells remain inside of the wound. However, the longest time to recurrence corresponds to cancer cells located outside of the wound. Note that this model is the first attempt to study cell dynamics in the wound healing process after cancer treatments, and it has some limitations that might influence the results. Experiments are needed to validate the results.
- Received December 6, 2016.
- Accepted January 27, 2017.
- © 2017 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.