Interaction of Antitumor Cells: Competition and Interference

  • Stephen Merrill
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Biomathematics book series (LNBM, volume 52)


The competition for tumor cells by several antitumor populations and the interference resulting from various cell products is examined. The setting investigated here involves natural killer (NK) cells interacting with a small tumor and macrophages being activated and attacking the same tumor. Activated macrophages are potent producers of prostaglandins which suppress natural killer activity while interferon produced by NK cells enhances macrophage killing. A mathematical model of the interactions of the two cell-types is examined with respect to the system’s ability to eliminate a tumor. The question addressed is a problem of biologic control. A pest (tumor) is controlled by a predator (NK’s) until a second predator (or pesticide) is introduced, possibly allowing the pest to escape the natural control.


Natural Killer Stable Manifold Function Natural Killer Cell General Functional Form Mature Natural Killer Cell 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

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  • Stephen Merrill

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