Department of Mathematics
Florida State University

"A biomechanical model of intracranial pressure dynamics in brain cancer"

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Brain tumor growth and tumor-induced edema result in increased intracranial pressure (ICP), which, in turn, is responsible for brain cancer symptoms and, ultimately death.Therefore, it has been hypothesized that tracking ICP dynamics may offer improved prognostic potential in terms of early detection of brain cancer and better delimitation of the tumor boundary. However, translating such theory into clinical practice remains a challenge, in part because of an incomplete understanding of how ICP correlates with tumor grade. In this talk, I will present a multi-phase mixture model that describes the biomechanical response of healthy brain tissue — in terms of changes in ICP — to a growing tumor. The model captures ICP dynamics within the diseased brain and accounts for the ability/inabilityof healthy tissue to compensate for this pressure. Parameter regimes that distinguish brain tumors by grade will be presented, thereby providing critical insight into how ICP dynamics vary by severity of disease. In particular, the model offers an explanation for clinically observed phenomena, such as a lack of symptoms in low-grade glioma patients versus a rapid onset of symptoms in those with malignant tumors. Our model also takes into account the effects tumor-derived proteases may have on ICP levels and the extent of tumor invasion. Finally, time permitting, I will present a framework for conducting in silicons clinical trials in the drug development process, taking glioblastoma as a case study.

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