# A Mathematical Model for Pancreatic Cancer Growth and Response to Treatment

Allison Cruikshank
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03/28/2021
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## Description

Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of death due to cancer in the United
States. Analyzing the effects of radiation is extremely valuable in determining when
a patient is allowed surgical resection, which is, presently, the only potentially curative treatment for pancreatic cancer. This study examines pancreatic tumor growth
and shrinkage to predict tumor response and change of resectability for pancreatic
cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. This is done using ordinary differential
equations as a mathematical model. Mathematical models have increasingly been
applied to various biological systems/processes to analyze the principles involved. In
our project, a population dynamical model is used along with suitable assumptions
to study the tumor growth, and the model parameters are carefully calculated from
references. To model the tumor response under radiotherapy treatment, a linear-
quadratic (LQ) model is incorporated with the tumor growth model. The coupled
model is used to observe the mechanisms involved in pancreatic cancer growth and
radioresistance. Numerical analysis of the model takes place using modeling soft-
ware (MATLAB). We found that the implementation of higher doses of radiation in
a smaller amount of fractions more effectively decreases the cancer cell size with and
without a radioresistance factor.

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