Journal of Theoretical Medicine
Volume 3 (2000), Issue 1, Pages 11-23

Modelling the Effects of Paclitaxel and Cisplatin on Breast and Ovarian Cancer

1Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 332 N. Lauderdale St., Memphis, TN 38105-2794, USA
2Department of Mathematics, University of Dundee, Dundee DDI 4HN, UK
3Department of Oncology, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK

Received 11 June 1999; Accepted 31 January 2000

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The two drugs, Paclitaxel and Cisplatin, have important roles in the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer, with the combination currently considered the optimum first line chemotherapy of epithelial ovarian cancer. There has been a variety of experimental and clinical studies to try to determine the most effective method to deliver these drugs. These studies consistently show that giving Paclitaxel prior to Cisplatin is the more effective regimen. However, the reasons why are not fully understood. Therefore, we have developed a mathematical model to describe and predict the effects of these two drugs. This model takes into account the cytotoxic effects of the drugs on the cell-cycle and the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic effects of the drugs on each other. The model agrees with the experimental and clinical studies which show that Paclitaxel given prior to Cisplatin is the better combination and, in addition, the model also predicts more effective treatment regimens. These include conditions on the time between doses and the dosing of each of the drugs.