DDEs, DCs and Doses: Mathematical Approaches to Designing Cancer Vaccines

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This program is the invited speaker for the Pi Mu Epsilon 2015 conference at Saint John's University.

Dendritic cells (DCs) are a promising immunotherapy tool for boosting an individual's immune response to cancer. In this talk, we develop a mathematical model using differential equations and delay-differential equations (DDEs) to describe the interactions between dendritic cells, other immune cells and tumor cells.

In order to design an efficient treatment strategy, clinicians need to answer three questions: How much? How often? Who will respond? Our model, along with mathematical tools from control theory and dynamical systems, can be used to suggest answers to these questions. This work is just one example of possible collaborations between mathematicians and researchers in other disciplines: a few other examples will be introduced, illustrating the synergy between modeling challenges and mathematical discoveries.

This talk is designed for a general math audience: no knowledge of immunology is assumed.

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