SIMIODE resources are here. Use the Browse menu to find Modeling Scenarios and Resources migrated from the old website.



Modeling Scenario


Author(s): Iordanka Panayotova1, Maila Hallare2

1. Christopher Newport University 2. NSU Math

Keywords: population dynamics phage therapy exponential growth cancer water treatment decay surgery

155 total view(s), 35 download(s)


Resource Image This activity builds upon elementary models on population growth. In particular, we compare two different treatment models of cancer therapy where in one, surgery happens before therapy and in the other, surgery happens after therapy.


Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Article Context

Resource Type
Differential Equation Type
Qualitative Analysis
Key Scientific Process Skills
Pedagogical Approaches
Vision and Change Core Competencies - Ability
Bloom's Cognitive Level


Activities will help students appreciate the importance of initial values in the existence of solutions.

This activity is inspired by some current research on having surgery before therapy.

As a student of differential equations, there are two verbs in this definition that should engage you: grow (uncontrollably) and spread (to other parts of the body). These two dynamic verbs provide rationale for why many mathematical oncologists use differential equations to investigate cancer growth, spread, and treatments.

Currently, cancer treatments include surgery and various kinds of therapy: radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy, and even viro-therapy. In this activity, you will explore a basic question: does the order of treatment matter? In particular, suppose that the oncologist has recommended surgery and chemotherapy to treat a cancer.

Should the surgery happen before chemotherapy, or after chemotherapy? We shall use a highly simplified differential equation to explore this question. Please remember that this activity is for classroom exploration only and the results of the exploration should not be used in making medical decisions.

Article Files


Author(s): Iordanka Panayotova1, Maila Hallare2

1. Christopher Newport University 2. NSU Math



There are no comments on this resource.