Optimization of Combined Leukemia Therapy by Finite-Dimensional Optimal Control Modeling

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Imatinib is a highly effective treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia, a common type of leukemia. Treatment efficacy of imatinib has been further improved by combination therapy with exogenic cytokine interferon-α. However, the prolonged administration of drug and immunotherapy exacts a significant cost to the patient’s quality of life, due to the treatments side effects. We present a mathematical model for the scheduling of combined treatment with imatinib and interferon-α by finite-dimensional optimal control problems. The explicit formulas for the optimal controls minimizing the integral quality criterion are obtained, and the corresponding leukemia treatment process is then described by numerical simulation. The attained optimization of treatment holds clinical potential for improving patient’s quality of life, as well as overall prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-235
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Optimization Theory and Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Immune response
  • Optimal control problem
  • Pontryagin’s maximum principle


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