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Volume Distributions of Metastatic Brain Tumors

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of metastatic brain cancer patients at the Barrow Neurological Institute sparked interest in the radiology department due to the possibility that tumor size distributions might mimic a power law or an exponential distribution. In order

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of metastatic brain cancer patients at the Barrow Neurological Institute sparked interest in the radiology department due to the possibility that tumor size distributions might mimic a power law or an exponential distribution. In order to consider the question regarding the growth trends of metastatic brain tumors, this thesis analyzes the volume measurements of the tumor sizes from the BNI data and attempts to explain such size distributions through mathematical models. More specifically, a basic stochastic cellular automaton model is used and has three-dimensional results that show similar size distributions of those of the BNI data. Results of the models are investigated using the likelihood ratio test suggesting that, when the tumor volumes are measured based on assuming tumor sphericity, the tumor size distributions significantly mimic the power law over an exponential distribution.

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2018-12

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Stochastic parameterization of the proliferation-diffusion model of brain cancer in a Murine model

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Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a malignant, aggressive and infiltrative cancer of the central nervous system with a median survival of 14.6 months with standard care. Diagnosis of GBM is made using medical imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a malignant, aggressive and infiltrative cancer of the central nervous system with a median survival of 14.6 months with standard care. Diagnosis of GBM is made using medical imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT). Treatment is informed by medical images and includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgical removal if the tumor is surgically accessible. Treatment seldom results in a significant increase in longevity, partly due to the lack of precise information regarding tumor size and location. This lack of information arises from the physical limitations of MR and CT imaging coupled with the diffusive nature of glioblastoma tumors. GBM tumor cells can migrate far beyond the visible boundaries of the tumor and will result in a recurring tumor if not killed or removed. Since medical images are the only readily available information about the tumor, we aim to improve mathematical models of tumor growth to better estimate the missing information. Particularly, we investigate the effect of random variation in tumor cell behavior (anisotropy) using stochastic parameterizations of an established proliferation-diffusion model of tumor growth. To evaluate the performance of our mathematical model, we use MR images from an animal model consisting of Murine GL261 tumors implanted in immunocompetent mice, which provides consistency in tumor initiation and location, immune response, genetic variation, and treatment. Compared to non-stochastic simulations, stochastic simulations showed improved volume accuracy when proliferation variability was high, but diffusion variability was found to only marginally affect tumor volume estimates. Neither proliferation nor diffusion variability significantly affected the spatial distribution accuracy of the simulations. While certain cases of stochastic parameterizations improved volume accuracy, they failed to significantly improve simulation accuracy overall. Both the non-stochastic and stochastic simulations failed to achieve over 75% spatial distribution accuracy, suggesting that the underlying structure of the model fails to capture one or more biological processes that affect tumor growth. Two biological features that are candidates for further investigation are angiogenesis and anisotropy resulting from differences between white and gray matter. Time-dependent proliferation and diffusion terms could be introduced to model angiogenesis, and diffusion weighed imaging (DTI) could be used to differentiate between white and gray matter, which might allow for improved estimates brain anisotropy.

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2016-05

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Naïve Bayes Classification for Analyzing Prostate Cancer Treatment Outcomes

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Prostate cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in men. Fortunately, it has a 99% survival rate. To achieve such a survival rate, a variety of aggressive therapies are used to treat prostate cancers that are caught early.

Prostate cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in men. Fortunately, it has a 99% survival rate. To achieve such a survival rate, a variety of aggressive therapies are used to treat prostate cancers that are caught early. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is a therapy that is given in cycles to patients. This study attempted to analyze what factors in a group of 79 patients caused them to stick with or discontinue the treatment. This was done using naïve Bayes classification, a machine-learning algorithm. The usage of this algorithm identified high testosterone as an indicator of a patient persevering with the treatment, but failed to produce statistically significant high rates of prediction.

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2016-12

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Validation of a Mathematical Model of Intermittent Androgen Deprivation Therapy in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Patietns

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Over time, tumor treatment resistance inadvertently develops when androgen de-privation therapy (ADT) is applied to metastasized prostate cancer (PCa). To combat tumor resistance, while reducing the harsh side effects of hormone therapy, the clinician may opt to cyclically alternates the

Over time, tumor treatment resistance inadvertently develops when androgen de-privation therapy (ADT) is applied to metastasized prostate cancer (PCa). To combat tumor resistance, while reducing the harsh side effects of hormone therapy, the clinician may opt to cyclically alternates the patient’s treatment on and off. This method,known as intermittent ADT, is an alternative to continuous ADT that improves the patient’s quality of life while testosterone levels recover between cycles. In this paper,we explore the response of intermittent ADT to metastasized prostate cancer by employing a previously clinical data validated mathematical model to new clinical data from patients undergoing Abiraterone therapy. This cell quota model, a system of ordinary differential equations constructed using Droop’s nutrient limiting theory, assumes the tumor comprises of castration-sensitive (CS) and castration-resistant (CR)cancer sub-populations. The two sub-populations rely on varying levels of intracellular androgen for growth, death and transformation. Due to the complexity of the model,we carry out sensitivity analyses to study the effect of certain parameters on their outputs, and to increase the identifiability of each patient’s unique parameter set. The model’s forecasting results show consistent accuracy for patients with sufficient data,which means the model could give useful information in practice, especially to decide whether an additional round of treatment would be effective.

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2021-05

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The Integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) into Western Biomedical Oncology Treatment

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Through a standpoint feminist perspective (Harding 2009) I conducted a situational analysis (Clarke, 2015) that examined academic literature and cancer support discussion boards (DBs) to identify how Western biomedicine, specifically oncology, can integrate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to improve

Through a standpoint feminist perspective (Harding 2009) I conducted a situational analysis (Clarke, 2015) that examined academic literature and cancer support discussion boards (DBs) to identify how Western biomedicine, specifically oncology, can integrate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to improve cancer treatment in children. The aims of this project were: 1) to identify the CAM treatments that are being used to alleviate the side effects from oncological treatments and/or treat pediatric cancers; 2) to compare the subjective experience of CAM to Western biomedicine of cancer patients who leave comments on Group Loop, Cancer Compass and Cancer Forums, which are online support groups (N=20). I used grounded theory and situational mapping to analyze discussion threads. The participants identified using the following CAM treatments: herbs, imagery, prayer, stinging nettle, meditation, mind-body therapies and supplements. The participants turned to CAM treatments when their cancer was late-stage or terminal, often as an integrative and not exclusively to treat their cancer. CAM was more "effective" than biomedical oncology treatment at improving their overall quality of life and functionality. We found that youth on discussion boards did not discuss CAM treatments like the adult participants, but all participants visited these sites for support and verification of their cancer treatments. My main integration recommendation is to combine mind-body CAM therapies with biomedical treatment. This project fills the gap in literature that ignores the ideas of vulnerable populations by providing the experiences of adult and pediatric cancer patients, and that of their families. It is applicable to areas of the social studies of medicine, patient care, and families suffering from cancer. KEYWORDS: Cancer; Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Situational Analysis; Standpoint Feminism

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2016-12