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Title page for ETD etd-06222012-154720

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kapitanov, Georgi
Author's Email Address georgi.i.kapitanov@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-06222012-154720
Title A Mathematical Model of Cancer Stem Cell Lineage Population Dynamics with Mutation Accumulation and Telomere Length Hierarchies
Degree PhD
Department Mathematics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Glenn Webb Committee Chair
Alexander Powell Committee Member
Lloyd Massengil Committee Member
Philip Crooke Committee Member
  • cancer stem cell
  • mathematical model
  • stem cell
  • telomeres
Date of Defense 2012-05-03
Availability unrestricted
There is evidence that cancer develops when cells acquire a sequence of mutations. This sequence

determines a hierarchy among the cells, based on how many more mutations they need

to accumulate in order to become cancerous. When cells divide, they exhibit telomere loss and

differentiate, which defines another cell hierarchy, on top of which is the stem cell. We propose a

mutation-generation model, which combines the mutation-accumulation hierarchy with the differentiation

hierarchy of the cells, allowing us to take a step further in examining cancer acquisition

and growth. The model compares the rate of population growth of cancer cells versus normal cells.

It also examines the role of stem cells in the cell population dynamics. The results, both analytical

and numerical, support the hypothesis of the cancer stem cell: a very small fraction of the cancer

cell population can be responsible for the cancer growth and development.


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