Modeling multiple taxis: tumor invasion with phenotypic heterogeneity, haptotaxis, and unilateral interspecies repellence


We provide a short review of existing models with multiple taxis performed by (at least) one species and consider a new mathematical model for tumor invasion featuring two mutually exclusive cell phenotypes (migrating and proliferating). The migrating cells perform nonlinear diffusion and two types of taxis in response to non-diffusing cues: away from proliferating cells and up the gradient of surrounding tissue. Transitions between the two cell subpopulations are influenced by subcellular (receptor binding) dynamics, thus conferring the setting a multiscale character. We prove global existence of weak solutions to a simplified model version and perform numerical simulations for the full setting under several phenotype switching and motility scenarios. We also compare (via simulations) this model with the corresponding haptotaxis-chemotaxis one featuring indirect chemorepellent production and provide a discussion about possible model extensions and mathematical challenges.

Discrete Contin. Dyn. Syst. Ser. B