Cancer metastasis is the process in which cancerous cells detach from the primary tumour in order to spread through the rest of the organism to finally proliferate in distant organs. Detached cancerous cells are able to travel thanks to their success of overcoming the different barriers our body has in the diverse stages of the spreading process. Firstly, cells detach from the primary tumour and traverse the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is the complex 3D interconnected network of macromolecules that surround and support cells within organs and tissues. Once this traverse is done, cells are able to reach a blood vessel, from where they travel through the blood circulation system until they leave it, entering a new organ, proliferating there and forming a secondary tumour. In this Master Thesis we explore the ability of a tumour cell to spread through the ECM under different concentrations of collagen fibers. Cells behave as active Brownian particles and its dynamics is modelled using a cellular Potts model.
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