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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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DIRECTED ENZYME PRODRUG THERAPY: THE SYNTHESIS OF A Β-GLUCURONIDE LINKER AND ITS COUPLING WITH Z-IODOCOMBSTATIN

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The purpose of this project is to explore the benefit of using prodrugs in chemotherapy, as well as to explain the concept of angiogenesis and the importance of this process to tumor development. Angiogenesis is the formation of new

The purpose of this project is to explore the benefit of using prodrugs in chemotherapy, as well as to explain the concept of angiogenesis and the importance of this process to tumor development. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood capillaries that are necessary for the survival of a tumor, as a tumor cannot grow larger than 1-2 mm3 without developing its own blood supply. Vascular disrupting agents, such as iodocombstatin, a derivative of combretastatin, can be used to effectively cut off the blood supply to a growing neoplasm, effectively inhibiting the supply of oxygen and nutrients needed for cell division Thus, VDAs have a very important implication in terms of the future of chemotherapy. A prodrug, defined as an agent that is inactive in the body until metabolized to yield the drug itself, was synthesized by combining iodocombstatin with a β-glucuronide linker. The prodrug is theoretically hydrolyzed in the body to afford the active drug by β-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is produced five times as much by cancer cells as by normal cells. This effectively creates a “magic-bullet” form of chemotherapy, known as Direct Enzyme Prodrug Therapy (DEPT).

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2015-05

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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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Applications of the Droop cell quota model to data based cancer growth and treatment models

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The phycologist, M. R. Droop, studied vitamin B12 limitation in the flagellate Monochrysis lutheri and concluded that its specific growth rate depended on the concentration of the vitamin within the cell; i.e. the cell quota of the vitamin B12. The

The phycologist, M. R. Droop, studied vitamin B12 limitation in the flagellate Monochrysis lutheri and concluded that its specific growth rate depended on the concentration of the vitamin within the cell; i.e. the cell quota of the vitamin B12. The Droop model provides a mathematical expression to link growth rate to the intracellular concentration of a limiting nutrient. Although the Droop model has been an important modeling tool in ecology, it has only recently been applied to study cancer biology. Cancer cells live in an ecological setting, interacting and competing with normal and other cancerous cells for nutrients and space, and evolving and adapting to their environment. Here, the Droop equation is used to model three cancers.

First, prostate cancer is modeled, where androgen is considered the limiting nutrient since most tumors depend on androgen for proliferation and survival. The model's accuracy for predicting the biomarker for patients on intermittent androgen deprivation therapy is tested by comparing the simulation results to clinical data as well as to an existing simpler model. The results suggest that a simpler model may be more beneficial for a predictive use, although further research is needed in this field prior to implementing mathematical models as a predictive method in a clinical setting.

Next, two chronic myeloid leukemia models are compared that consider Imatinib treatment, a drug that inhibits the constitutively active tyrosine kinase BCR-ABL. Both models describe the competition of leukemic and normal cells, however the first model also describes intracellular dynamics by considering BCR-ABL as the limiting nutrient. Using clinical data, the differences in estimated parameters between the models and the capacity for each model to predict drug resistance are analyzed.

Last, a simple model is presented that considers ovarian tumor growth and tumor induced angiogenesis, subject to on and off anti-angiogenesis treatment. In this environment, the cell quota represents the intracellular concentration of necessary nutrients provided through blood supply. Mathematical analysis of the model is presented and model simulation results are compared to pre-clinical data. This simple model is able to fit both on- and off-treatment data using the same biologically relevant parameters.

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2015

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A mathematical journey of cancer growth

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Cancer is a major health problem in the world today and is expected to become an even larger one in the future. Although cancer therapy has improved for many cancers in the last several decades, there is much room for

Cancer is a major health problem in the world today and is expected to become an even larger one in the future. Although cancer therapy has improved for many cancers in the last several decades, there is much room for further improvement. Mathematical modeling has the advantage of being able to test many theoretical therapies without having to perform clinical trials and experiments. Mathematical oncology will continue to be an important tool in the future regarding cancer therapies and management.

This dissertation is structured as a growing tumor. Chapters 2 and 3 consider spheroid models. These models are adept at describing 'early-time' tumors, before the tumor needs to co-opt blood vessels to continue sustained growth. I consider two partial differential equation (PDE) models for spheroid growth of glioblastoma. I compare these models to in vitro experimental data for glioblastoma tumor cell lines and other proposed models. Further, I investigate the conditions under which traveling wave solutions exist and confirm numerically.

As a tumor grows, it can no longer be approximated by a spheroid, and it becomes necessary to use in vivo data and more sophisticated modeling to model the growth and diffusion. In Chapter 4, I explore experimental data and computational models for describing growth and diffusion of glioblastoma in murine brains. I discuss not only how the data was obtained, but how the 3D brain geometry is created from Magnetic Resonance (MR) images. A 3D finite-difference code is used to model tumor growth using a basic reaction-diffusion equation. I formulate and test hypotheses as to why there are large differences between the final tumor sizes between the mice.

Once a tumor has reached a detectable size, it is diagnosed, and treatment begins. Chapter 5 considers modeling the treatment of prostate cancer. I consider a joint model with hormonal therapy as well as immunotherapy. I consider a timing study to determine whether changing the vaccine timing has any effect on the outcome of the patient. In addition, I perform basic analysis on the six-dimensional ordinary differential equation (ODE). I also consider the limiting case, and perform a full global analysis.

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2016

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A two strain spatiotemporal mathematical model of cancer with free boundary condition

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In a 2004 paper, John Nagy raised the possibility of the existence of a hypertumor \emph{i.e.}, a focus of aggressively reproducing parenchyma cells that invade part or all of a tumor. His model used a system of nonlinear ordinary differential

In a 2004 paper, John Nagy raised the possibility of the existence of a hypertumor \emph{i.e.}, a focus of aggressively reproducing parenchyma cells that invade part or all of a tumor. His model used a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations to find a suitable set of conditions for which these hypertumors exist. Here that model is expanded by transforming it into a system of nonlinear partial differential equations with diffusion, advection, and a free boundary condition to represent a radially symmetric tumor growth. Two strains of parenchymal cells are incorporated; one forming almost the entirety of the tumor while the much more aggressive strain

appears in a smaller region inside of the tumor. Simulations show that if the aggressive strain focuses its efforts on proliferating and does not contribute to angiogenesis signaling when in a hypoxic state, a hypertumor will form. More importantly, this resultant aggressive tumor is paradoxically prone to extinction and hypothesize is the cause of necrosis in many vascularized tumors.

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2014

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Cancer Invasion in Time and Space

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Cancer is a disease involving abnormal growth of cells. Its growth dynamics is perplexing. Mathematical modeling is a way to shed light on this progress and its medical treatments. This dissertation is to study cancer invasion in time and space

Cancer is a disease involving abnormal growth of cells. Its growth dynamics is perplexing. Mathematical modeling is a way to shed light on this progress and its medical treatments. This dissertation is to study cancer invasion in time and space using a mathematical approach. Chapter 1 presents a detailed review of literature on cancer modeling.

Chapter 2 focuses sorely on time where the escape of a generic cancer out of immune control is described by stochastic delayed differential equations (SDDEs). Without time delay and noise, this system demonstrates bistability. The effects of response time of the immune system and stochasticity in the tumor proliferation rate are studied by including delay and noise in the model. Stability, persistence and extinction of the tumor are analyzed. The result shows that both time delay and noise can induce the transition from low tumor burden equilibrium to high tumor equilibrium. The aforementioned work has been published (Han et al., 2019b).

In Chapter 3, Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is studied using a partial differential equation (PDE) model. GBM is an aggressive brain cancer with a grim prognosis. A mathematical model of GBM growth with explicit motility, birth, and death processes is proposed. A novel method is developed to approximate key characteristics of the wave profile, which can be compared with MRI data. Several test cases of MRI data of GBM patients are used to yield personalized parameterizations of the model. The aforementioned work has been published (Han et al., 2019a).

Chapter 4 presents an innovative way of forecasting spatial cancer invasion. Most mathematical models, including the ones described in previous chapters, are formulated based on strong assumptions, which are hard, if not impossible, to verify due to complexity of biological processes and lack of quality data. Instead, a nonparametric forecasting method using Gaussian processes is proposed. By exploiting the local nature of the spatio-temporal process, sparse (in terms of time) data is sufficient for forecasting. Desirable properties of Gaussian processes facilitate selection of the size of the local neighborhood and computationally efficient propagation of uncertainty. The method is tested on synthetic data and demonstrates promising results.

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2020