Document Type



Mathematics (HMC), Mathematics (Pomona)

Publication Date



Recent experimental studies by Diefenbach et al. [1] have brought to light new information about how the immune system of the mouse responds to the presence of a tumor. In the Diefenbach studies, tumor cells are modified to express higher levels of immune stimulating NKG2D ligands. Experimental results show that sufficiently high levels of ligand expression create a significant barrier to tumor establishment in the mouse. Additionally, ligand transduced tumor cells stimulate protective immunity to tumor rechallenge. Based on the results of the Diefenbach experiments, we have developed a mathematical model of tumor growth to address some of the questions that arise regarding the mechanisms involved in the immune response to a tumor challenge. The model focuses on the interaction of the NK and CD8+ T cells with various tumor cell lines using a system of differential equations. We propose new forms for the tumor-immune competition terms, and validate these forms through comparison with the experimental data of [1].

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