Speed Switch in Glioblastoma Growth Rate due to Enhanced Hypoxia-Induced Migration

Lee Curtin, Andrea Hawkins-Daarud, Kristoffer G. van der Zee, Kristin R. Swanson, Markus R. Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We analyze the wave speed of the Proliferation Invasion Hypoxia Necrosis Angiogenesis (PIHNA) model that was previously created and applied to simulate the growth and spread of glioblastoma (GBM), a particularly aggressive primary brain tumor. We extend the PIHNA model by allowing for different hypoxic and normoxic cell migration rates and study the impact of these differences on the wave-speed dynamics. Through this analysis, we find key variables that drive the outward growth of the simulated GBM. We find a minimum tumor wave-speed for the model; this depends on the migration and proliferation rates of the normoxic cells and is achieved under certain conditions on the migration rates of the normoxic and hypoxic cells. If the hypoxic cell migration rate is greater than the normoxic cell migration rate above a threshold, the wave speed increases above the predicted minimum. This increase in wave speed is explored through an eigenvalue and eigenvector analysis of the linearized PIHNA model, which yields an expression for this threshold. The PIHNA model suggests that an inherently faster-diffusing hypoxic cell population can drive the outward growth of a GBM as a whole, and that this effect is more prominent for faster-proliferating tumors that recover relatively slowly from a hypoxic phenotype. The findings presented here act as a first step in enabling patient-specific calibration of the PIHNA model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Glioblastoma
  • Hypoxia
  • Tumor growth
  • Wave speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • General Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Pharmacology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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