Delivery of Drugs in Cancer Tumor Treatment: Role of Diffusion and Reaction


  • Gretchen Karl
  • Luis Hevia


For the effectiveness of drug delivery for the treatment of cancer tumors, modeling efforts play an important role in promoting the understanding of fundamental aspects of both the transport to and reaction of drug delivery to the tumor. Both the motion of drugs through the capillary of the microcirculatory system and the reaction, which take place within the tumor domain, must cooperate to eliminate cancer cells for an effective treatment of the tumor over the entire tumor domain. By assuming that this domain is closely described by a medium with a porous-like structure, the biophysical situation is very similar to that encountered in a catalytic pellet found in heterogeneous catalytic reactions. In this contribution, we will apply the fundamental principles of diffusion and reaction to a solid tumor (Arce et al, 2007), typically applied, for example, in the pancreas or other human organs. By following suitable assumptions, we will present a diffusion and reaction microscopic model at the pore level. This model will then be upscaled to a macroscopic domain (i.e., the pore domain) and further to the tumor domain. As part of this process, the effective diffusion coefficient and the effective rate constant of reaction will be identified. Potential solutions for the model and predictive outcomes will be outlined.