A mechanistic mathematical model of initiation and malignant transformation in sporadic vestibular schwannoma

Chay Paterson, Ivana Bozic, Miriam J. Smith, Xanthe Hoad, Gareth Evans

Research output: Other contribution


A vestibular schwannoma (VS) is a relatively rare, benign tumour of the eighth cranial nerve, often involving alterations to the gene NF2. Previous mathematical models of schwannoma incidence have not attempted to account for alterations in specific genes, and could not distinguish between point mutations and loss of heterozygosity (LOH). Here, we present a mechanistic approach to modelling initiation and malignant transformation in Schwannoma. Each parameter is associated with a specific gene or mechanism operative in Schwann cells, and can be determined by combining incidence data with empirical frequencies of pathogenic variants and LOH. This results in new estimates for the base pair mutation rate u = 4.48 × 10−10 and the rate of LOH = 2.03 × 10−6/yr in Schwann cells. In addition to new parameter estimates, we extend the approach to estimate the risk of both spontaneous and radiation-induced malignant transformation. We conclude that radiotherapy is likely to have a negligible excess risk of malignancy for sporadic VS, with a possible exception of rapidly growing tumours.
Original languageUndefined
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2021

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