Sensitivity Analysis of a Cancer Model with Drug Treatment

John Burns
Department of Mathematics
Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Mathematics
Virginia Tech

In this presentation we discuss a phenomenological model of the immune response to the growth of breast cancer cells and the impact of certain drug therapies on the cancer. The model is a delay differential equation which captures the interaction of cancer cells with the immune system. The model accounts for the different cell cycles and includes terms to evaluate drug treatments and has been used to evaluate the effects of pulsed applications of the drug Paclitaxel. We derive sensitivity equations for the system and analyze the sensitivity of the model with respect to initial immune cells and drug concentrations. We illustrate how these sensitivities can improve the long term prediction of success or failure of a drug treatment plan.

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