Mathematical model of pulsed immunotherapy for superficial bladder cancer

Svetlana Bunimovich-Mendrazitsky*, Helen Byrne, Lewi Stone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a theoretical study of superficial bladder cancer growth and its treatment via pulsed immunotherapy with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis. BCG pulsed immunotherapy is a clinically established procedure for the treatment of superficial bladder cancer. In this paper, periodic BCG instillations are modeled using impulsive differential equations, which are studied using a combination of analytical and numerical techniques. In this way, we determine critical threshold values of the BCG instillation dose and rate of pulsing for successful treatment. We also identify treatment regimes in which tumor destruction occurs, but undesirable side effects are maintained at low levels by the immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2055-2076
Number of pages22
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Immune response
  • Impulsive differential equations
  • Therapy schedule
  • Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC)


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