Mathematical Models of the Metastasis of Cancer*

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Katrina McKinley Hoban


When cancer cells detach from an original tumor site to spread throughout the body, it is called metastasis. Metastatic cancer cells can move either by direct contact with new organ sites or through the blood or lymphatic systems of the body, but there is a generally accepted path process for this spread. However, metastasis is a multifaceted process dependent on a variety of cellular and micro-environmental parameters found in the cancer tumors as well as the host's body. For this reason, it is extremely difficult to create a mathematical model that accurate predicts the exact path a specific cancer will take. This paper will summarize five existing models of this path and evaluate their dissimilarities to determine the best course of action in predicting metastasis in several types of cancer.

Article Details

Mathematical Sciences
Author Biography

Katrina McKinley Hoban

Katrina McKinley Hoban is a first-year M.A. student in the Department of Mathematics. She received her B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, where she studied Public Relations and International Business. Following her time at Penn State, she spent several years working in product management in advertising before enrolling at Villanova. Katrina has taken an interest in applied Mathematics, specifically Operations Research and Project Planning, and intends to pursue a career in one of those fields upon graduation. She thanks Dr. Douglas Norton for his enthusiasm in teaching Mathematical Modeling and guidance while completing this study.