Hormone therapy is a viable technique used to treat endocrine receptor positive cancers. Using the recently developed theory of cancer networks, we create a mathematical model describing the growth of an estrogen-receptive cancer governed by a linear cancer network. We then present hormone therapy as a drug that blocks the estrogen receptors of different cells in the network. Depending on the effectiveness of the drug, the model predicts coexistence of healthy and cancerous cells as well as a cure state. In the case of coexistence, the carrying capacities of all cancerous cells are reduced by hormone therapy, increasing effectiveness of other treatments such as surgery.

Author Bio

Michelle McDuffie, a junior at Western Carolina University, was an NREUP participant at Winthrop University during the summer of 2013. There she completed a poster that she presented at the MAA Southeastern Section Spring Meeting. She is an honors student pursuing two degrees, one in Mathematics and another in Education, and plans to become a high school math teacher upon graduation. At Western Carolina University, she is a Resident Assistant, an Inter-library Loan Assistant, treasurer of the Mathematics Club and recently inducted secretary of the Resident Assistant Advisory Council. She is a bubbly, friendly person with a large family that she enjoys spending time with. In her free time, she enjoys completing puzzles and watching Criminal Minds.