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The immune system is a robust and often untapped accomplice of many standard cancer therapies. A majority of tumors exist in a state of immune tolerance where the patient's immune system has become insensitive to the cancer cells. Due to its lymphodepleting effects, chemotherapy has the potential to break this tolerance. In order to investigate this, we created a mathematical modeling framework of tumor-immune dynamics. Our results suggest that optimal chemotherapy scheduling must balance two opposing objectives: maximizing tumor reduction while preserving patient immune function. Successful treatment requires therapy to operate in a 'Goldilocks Window' where patient immune health is not overly compromised. By keeping therapy 'just right', we show that the synergistic effects of immune activation and chemotherapy can maximize tumor reduction and control.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Res

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