Parameter identification of a model for prostate cancer treated by intermittent therapy.


Normandie University - CORIA, Campus Universitaire du Madrillet, Saint-Etienne du Rouvray F-76800, France. Electronic address: [Email]


Adenocarcinoma is the most frequent cancer affecting the prostate walnut-size gland in the male reproductive system. Such cancer may have a very slow progression or may be associated with a "dark prognosis" when tumor cells are spreading very quickly. Prostate cancers have the particular properties to be marked by the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in blood which allows to follow its evolution. At least in its first phase, prostate adenocarcinoma is most often hormone-dependent and, consequently, hormone therapy is a possible treatment. Since few years, hormone therapy started to be provided intermittently for improving patient's quality of life. Today, durations of on- and off-treatment periods are still chosen empirically, most likely explaining why there is no clear benefit from the survival point of view. We therefore developed a model for describing the interaction between the tumor environment, the PSA produced by hormone-dependent and hormone-independent tumor cells, respectively, and the level of androgens. Model parameters were identified using a genetic algorithm applied to the PSA time series measured in a few patients who initially received prostatectomy and were then treated by intermittent hormone therapy (LHRH analogs and anti-androgen). The measured PSA time series is quite correctly reproduced by free runs over the whole follow-up. Model parameter values allow for distinguishing different types of patient (age and Gleason score) meaning that the model can be individualized. We thus showed that the long-term evolution of the cancer can be affected by durations of on- and off-treatment periods.


Genetic algorithm,Individualized mathematical model,Intermittent hormone therapy,Modelling PSA evolution,