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Open AccessArticle

Mathematical Model of Muscle Wasting in Cancer Cachexia

Department of Mathematics, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2029;
Received: 1 May 2020 / Revised: 17 June 2020 / Accepted: 19 June 2020 / Published: 28 June 2020
Cancer cachexia is a debilitating condition characterized by an extreme loss of skeletal muscle mass, which negatively impacts patients’ quality of life, reduces their ability to sustain anti-cancer therapies, and increases the risk of mortality. Recent discoveries have identified the myostatin/activin A/ActRIIB pathway as critical to muscle wasting by inducing satellite cell quiescence and increasing muscle-specific ubiquitin ligases responsible for atrophy. Remarkably, pharmacological blockade of the ActRIIB pathway has been shown to reverse muscle wasting and prolong the survival time of tumor-bearing animals. To explore the implications of this signaling pathway and potential therapeutic targets in cachexia, we construct a novel mathematical model of muscle tissue subjected to tumor-derived cachectic factors. The model formulation tracks the intercellular interactions between cancer cell, satellite cell, and muscle cell populations. The model is parameterized by fitting to colon-26 mouse model data, and the analysis provides insight into tissue growth in healthy, cancerous, and post-cachexia treatment conditions. Model predictions suggest that cachexia fundamentally alters muscle tissue health, as measured by the stem cell ratio, and this is only partially recovered by anti-cachexia treatment. Our mathematical findings suggest that after blocking the myostatin/activin A pathway, partial recovery of cancer-induced muscle loss requires the activation and proliferation of the satellite cell compartment with a functional differentiation program. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer cachexia; muscle wasting; mathematical oncology; mathematical modeling; dynamical systems cancer cachexia; muscle wasting; mathematical oncology; mathematical modeling; dynamical systems
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MDPI and ACS Style

Farhang-Sardroodi, S.; Wilkie, K.P. Mathematical Model of Muscle Wasting in Cancer Cachexia. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 2029.

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