Melanoma Cell Colony Expansion Parameters Revealed by Approximate Bayesian Computation

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Abstract

In vitro studies and mathematical models are now being widely used to study the underlying mechanisms driving the expansion of cell colonies. This can improve our understanding of cancer formation and progression. Although much progress has been made in terms of developing and analysing mathematical models, far less progress has been made in terms of understanding how to estimate model parameters using experimental in vitro image-based data. To address this issue, a new approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) algorithm is proposed to estimate key parameters governing the expansion of melanoma cell (MM127) colonies, including cell diffusivity, D, cell proliferation rate, λ, and cell-to-cell adhesion , q, in two experimental scenarios, namely with and without a chemical treatment to suppress cell proliferation. Even when little prior biological knowledge about the parameters is assumed, all parameters are precisely inferred with a small posterior coefficient of variation , approximately 2-12%. The ABC analyses reveal that the posterior distributions of D and q depend on the experimental elapsed time, whereas the posterior distribution of λ does not. The posterior mean values of D and q are in the ranges 226-268 µm 2 h −1 , 311-351 µm 2 h −1 and 0.23-0.39, 0.32-0.61 for the experimental periods of 0-24 h and 24-48 h, respectively. Furthermore, we found that the posterior distribution of q also depends on the initial cell density, whereas the posterior distributions of D and λ do not. The ABC approach also enables information from the two experiments to be combined, resulting in greater precision for all estimates of D and λ. Author Summary Quantifying the underlying parameters that drive the expansion of melanoma cell colonies such as the cell diffusivity, cell proliferation rate and cell-to-cell adhesion strength can improve our understanding of melanoma biology and its response to treatment. We combine a simulation-based model of collective cell spreading with a novel Bayesian computational algorithm to estimate these parameters from carefully chosen summaries of PLOS Computational Biology |

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Vo, B. N., Drovandi, C. C., Pettitt, A. N., & Pettet, G. J. (2015). Melanoma Cell Colony Expansion Parameters Revealed by Approximate Bayesian Computation. PLoS Computational Biology, 11(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004635

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