Tumour-immune dynamics with an immune checkpoint inhibitor

Elpiniki Nikolopoulou, Lauren R. Johnson, Duane Harris, John D. Nagy, Edward C. Stites, Yang Kuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S137-S159
JournalLetters in Biomathematics
Issue numbersup1
StatePublished - Jun 30 2018


  • Immunotherapy
  • PD-1
  • PD-L1
  • anti-PD-1
  • checkpoint inhibitor
  • mathematical oncology
  • tumour
  • tumour/immune model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Tumour-immune dynamics with an immune checkpoint inhibitor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this