A 3-dimensional DTI MRI-based model of GBM growth and response to radiation therapy
- Leith Hathout
- Vishal Patel
- Patrick Wen
Published online on: July 1, 2016
Glioblastoma (GBM) is both the most common and the most aggressive intra-axial brain tumor, with a notoriously poor prognosis. To improve this prognosis, it is necessary to understand the dynamics of GBM growth, response to treatment and recurrence. The present study presents a mathematical diffusion-proliferation model of GBM growth and response to radiation therapy based on diffusion tensor (DTI) MRI imaging. This represents an important advance because it allows 3-dimensional tumor modeling in the anatomical context of the brain. Specifically, tumor infiltration is guided by the direction of the white matter tracts along which glioma cells infiltrate. This provides the potential to model different tumor growth patterns based on location within the brain, and to simulate the tumor's response to different radiation therapy regimens. Tumor infiltration across the corpus callosum is simulated in biologically accurate time frames. The response to radiation therapy, including changes in cell density gradients and how these compare across different radiation fractionation protocols, can be rendered. Also, the model can estimate the amount of subthreshold tumor which has extended beyond the visible MR imaging margins. When combined with the ability of being able to estimate the biological parameters of invasiveness and proliferation of a particular GBM from serial MRI scans, it is shown that the model has potential to simulate realistic tumor growth, response and recurrence patterns in individual patients. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first presentation of a DTI-based GBM growth and radiation therapy treatment model.