We study multicellular tumour spheroids with a continuum model based on partial differential equations (PDEs). The model includes viable and necrotic cell densities, as well as oxygen and glucose concentrations. Viable cells consume nutrients and become necrotic below critical nutrient concentrations. Proliferation of viable cells is contact-inhibited if the total cellular density locally exceeds volume carrying capacity. The model is discussed under the assumption of spherical symmetry. Unknown model parameters are determined by simultaneously fitting the cell number to several experimental growth curves for different nutrient concentrations. The outcome of the PDE model is compared with an analogous off-lattice agent-based model for tumour growth. It turns out that the numerically more efficient PDE model suffices to explain the macroscopic growth data. As in the agent-based model, we find that the experimental growth curves are only reproduced when a necrotic core develops. However, evaluation of morphometric properties yields differences between the models and the experiment.
One contribution of 15 to a Theme Issue ‘Biomathematical modelling II’.
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