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Allee Efects in Cancer Stem Cell Driven Solid Tumors

  • Author / Creator
    Shyntar, Alexandra
  • In this thesis, we perform a systematic study of the Allee effect in cancer stem cell (CSC)
    models with an application to non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Previously, it was
    shown that an Allee effect exists in mathematical tumor growth models incorporating
    cancer stem cell (CSC) dynamics. Here, we extend CSC models to study the Allee
    effect further. Through the analysis of the models using geometric singular perturbation
    theory, as well as linear stability analysis, we show the existence of the Allee region,
    which captures the densities at which natural tumor remission occurs. We find that the
    Allee region can be enlarged by several mechanisms, such as increasing the death rates
    of the cancer cells. However, decreasing the self-renewal capabilities of CSCs is much
    more effective at enlarging the region. This signifies that targeted therapy along with
    conventional cytotoxic therapies can be more effective at treating the tumor rather than
    conventional therapy alone. Finally, we reduce the CSC model and fit it to the gross
    tumor volume data of NSCLC patients, by using Latin Hypercube Sampling to sample a
    parameter space. The data is obtained from patients who received intensity-modulated
    radiotherapy alongside chemotherapy. We find that the Allee effect and the distinction
    between the heterogeneous cell types in the tumor are not needed to explain the data.
    Although the patients have varying responses to treatment and varying parameters,
    we nevertheless find a ratio that may indicate how well patients will respond to the
    treatment.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2023
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-wh3n-n718
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.