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Hannah P. Savage

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A Nonlinear ODE Model of Tumor Growth and Effect of Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy Treatment in Colorectal Cancer

Lisette de Pillis
Second Reader(s)
Ami Radunskaya (Pomona)


Colorectal cancer will kill approximately 50,000 people in the United States this year. Current treatment options, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, are often able to force the cancer into remission, but better treatments are needed to help those who don't respond to current treatments. A new and promising treatment option, monoclonal-antibody therapy, has the potential to help reduce the deaths caused by colorectal cancer, but most monoclonal-antibody drugs are currently still in trial phases, and the variations in the dosing schedule of those currently approved for use have not been heavily explored. We have modified a nonlinear ODE tumor/treatment model by de Pillis and colleagues to include monoclonal antibody treatments. Parameter values have been modified for colorectal cancer, with irinotecan as the chemotherapy agent and the two monoclonal antibodies cetuximab, which is FDA approved, and panitumumab, which is still undergoing clinical trials. We have run Matlab simulations of current treatment options, and have found new dosing schedules which, in our simulations, reduce tumor size more effectively that the current schedules. Equilibria of the system and its sensitivity to parameters have also been examined.


An ODE Model of Tumor Growth and Effect of Immuno- and Chemotherapy Treatment in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

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