Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2013 Julienne Abad. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Biology Department


This paper proposes and analyzes a mathematical model of early-stage classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (cHL), a cancer of the lymphatic system, without prior infection by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The interactions between Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cancer cells and T cells are modeled using a system of 12 differential equations that measure the rates of change of these cell populations over time. The ultimate purpose of the model is twofold: to identify the parameters that play the most significant roles in cHL tumor growth and survival and to apply these findings toward the establishment of a clearer and more comprehensive theoretical framework for developing new cHL therapies and improving existing treatments. Results indicate that while the dynamics of a cHL tumor are complex and involve many parameters, the most significant parameters that affect HRS cell populations are the rate of production of regulatory T cells by differentiation and the rate of sensitivity of activated killer T cells to death by direct contact with HRS cells. Future research should focus on developing treatments that directly alter these parameters.