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Modeling the stem cell hypothesis: Investigating the effects of cancer stem cells and TGF−β on tumor growth

1 Department of Biology, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 47645 College Drive, St. Mary’s City, MD 20686, USA
2 Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 47645 College Drive, St. Mary’s City, MD 20686, USA
3 Department of Mathematics, Lafayette College, 730 High Street, Easton, PA 18042, USA
4 National Cancer Institute, 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
5 Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, St. Joseph’s College, 245 Clinton AVE, Brooklyn, NY 11205, USA

Special Issues: Practical Insights from Cancer Models

We propose a mathematical model to describe the interaction of cancer stem cells, tumor cells, and the immune system in order to better understand tumor growth in the presence of cancer stem cells. We consider the system in two scenarios: with no-treatment and with a chemotherapy treatment regimen. We develop a system of differential equations, fit the parameters to experimental data, and perform sensitivity and stability analysis. The model simulations show that the tumor cells grow as predicted with no-treatment and that with chemotherapy, which targets only the tumor cells, the cancer will eventually relapse. As chemotherapy does not target the cancer stem cells, we conclude that the tumor cells recover due to the presence of cancer stem cells.
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© 2019 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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