Tumour-immune dynamics with an immune checkpoint inhibitor
The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors is becoming more commonplace in clinical trials across the nation. Two important factors in the tumour-immune response are the checkpoint protein programmed death-1 (PD-1) and its ligand PD-L1. We propose a mathematical tumour-immune model using a system of ordinary differential equations to study dynamics with and without the use of anti-PD-1. A sensitivity analysis is conducted, and series of simulations are performed to investigate the effects of intermittent and continuous treatments on the tumour-immune dynamics. We consider the system without the anti-PD-1 drug to conduct a mathematical analysis to determine the stability of the tumour-free and tumorous equilibria. Through simulations, we found that a normally functioning immune system may control tumour. We observe treatment with anti-PD-1 alone may not be sufficient to eradicate tumour cells. Therefore, it may be beneficial to combine single agent treatments with additional therapies to obtain a better antitumour response.
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