Springer Natural Computing
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Cancer treatment is a fragmented and varied process, as ‘‘cancer’’ is really hundreds of different diseases. The ‘‘hallmarks of cancer’’ proposed by Hanahan and Weinberg (Cell 100(1):57–70, 2000) are a framework for viewing cancer within a common set of underlying principles—ten properties that are common to almost all cancers, allowing them to grow uncontrollably and ravage the body. We used a cellular automaton model of tumour growth paired with lattice Boltzmann methods modelling oxygen flow to simulate combination drugs targeted at knocking out pairs of hallmarks. We found that knocking out some pairs of cancer-enabling hallmarks did not prevent tumour formation, while other pairs significantly prevent tumour growth (p ¼ 0:0004 using Wilcoxon signed-rank adjusted with the Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons). This is not what would be expected from models of knocking out the hallmarks individually, as many pairs did not have an additive effect but had either no statistically significant effect or a multiplicative one. We propose that targeting certain pairs of cancer hallmarks, specifically cancers ability to induce blood vessel development paired with another cancer hallmark, could prove an effective cancer treatment option.