Applied Math Seminar: Cancer modeling: from optimal cell division patterns to immunotherapy
Cancer is a disease caused by mutations in normal cells. In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million people were diagnosed and approximately 0.5 million people died from the disease in the United States (NCI, 2016). There are many factors that shape cancer at the cellular and organismal level, including genetic, immunological, and environmental components. In this talk, we show how mathematical modeling can be used to provide insight into some of the key mechanisms underlying cancer dynamics. First, we use mathematical modeling to investigate optimal cell division patterns in tissues such as the small intestine. We find that the patterns that delay the accumulation of mutations are strictly associated with the population sizes of the tissue. Second, we present a model of the immune response to cancer in the presence of both costimulatory and inhibitory signals. We demonstrate that such signals are crucial to initiate an effective immune response, and while immunotherapy has become a promising cancer treatment over the past decade, these results offer some explanations for why it can fail.
Tea and cookies will be served in the lounge at 15.00.
Contact Name: Helen Wearing