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The growth of a tumour in a rigid walled cylindrical duct is examined in order to model the initial stages of tumour cell expansion in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast. A nutrient-limited growth model is formulated, in which cell movement is described by a Stokes flow constitutive relation. The effects on the shape of the tumour boundary of the material properties (i.e. the viscosity) and the extent to which the cells adhere to the duct wall are studied using numerical and asymptotic methods. It is shown how stable, non-planar, interface configurations result and that, during these initial stages, before the duct wall has been breached, few cells die and a nutrient-rich model is usually sufficient to capture the behaviour. Finally, we discuss the relevance of this approach to DCIS and suggest possible avenues for further work.

Original publication




Journal article


J Math Biol

Publication Date





424 - 452


Apoptosis, Breast Neoplasms, Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating, Cell Adhesion, Cell Movement, Female, Humans, Models, Biological, Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted, Tumor Cells, Cultured