A Mathematical Model of the Disruption of the Glucose Homeostasis in Cancer Patients

Jonathan Doria, “A Mathematical Model of the Disruption of the Glucose Homeostasis in Cancer Patients”
Mentor: Peter Hinow, Mathematical Sciences

In recent years much research has been done on how cancer can disrupt glucose homeostasis in people. Proliferating cancer cells require large amounts of energy to grow and as such compete with healthy body tissue for glucose supply. Mathematical models have been developed to better understand the glucose-insulin-glucagon feedback system in healthy and diabetic individuals. Moreover, there is a wealth of knowledge on bodyweight regulation and energy balances. Our model focuses on how the healthy and cancerous cell populations compete for their energy source. In a first step, we have identified a steady state in a cancer-free person. Presently, we continue literature review looking to find parameters for body mass and amount of glucose available, together with rates for glucose intake and energy use. In the future we will look at the effects of cachexia in cancer patients, which is the involuntary loss of skeletal muscle. We also plan to address complications to cancer treatment in diabetic patients and the possible use of diabetes medication such as Metformin to overcome these complications.


  1. This is a very interesting topic and an importaint one too! I am not a mathematician, but this was still easy to follow. One suggestion I have is to include the defenitions for the variables somewhere in each slide (a small table on the side perhaps), I found myself flipping back and forth forgeting what each variable represented. Wonderful job! Thank you for sharing your research.

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