One of the biggest barriers in treating solid tumours is the inability of
therapeutic vectors to propagate throughout the tumour mass due to the high
density of the tumour and tumour stroma. The dense nature of many solid tumours
can be attributed to an over-expression of a collection of molecules known as
the extracellular matrix (ECM). This thick and compact structure acts as a
physical barrier for many treatments by shielding the malignant cells and
reducing drug penetration and efficacy. One method, used to tackle the lack of
diffusion of therapeutic vectors, is by treating the tumour with an oncolytic
adenovirus as they are incredibly small and should be able to diffuse more
efficiently throughout the tumour mass. However, biologist find that treatment
with oncolytic viruses still lacks diffusion and penetration in solid tumours.
In this presentation, we model the interaction between the ECM and the virus
population using a lattice ODE network designed to estimate a PDE system. We ask
the question: how does the ECM affect the diffusion of the virus?