Background: The human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is routinely applied to support recovery of granulopoiesis during the course of cytotoxic chemotherapies. However, optimal use of the drug is largely unknown. We showed in the past that a biomathematical compartment model of human granulopoiesis can be used to make clinically relevant predictions regarding new, yet untested chemotherapy regimen. In the present paper, we aim to extend this model by a detailed pharmacokinetic and -dynamic modelling of two commonly used G-CSF derivatives Filgrastim and Pegfilgrastim.
Results: Model equations are based on our physiological understanding of the drugs which are delayed absorption of G-CSF when applied to the subcutaneous tissue, dose-dependent bioavailability, unspecific first order elimination, specific elimination in dependence on granulocyte counts and reversible protein binding. Pharmacokinetic differences between Filgrastim and Pegfilgrastim were modelled as different parameter sets. Our former cell-kinetic model of granulopoiesis was essentially preserved, except for a few additional assumptions and simplifications. We assumed a delayed action of G-CSF on the bone marrow, a delayed action of chemotherapy and differences between Filgrastim and Pegfilgrastim with respect to stimulation potency of the bone marrow. Additionally, we incorporated a model of combined action of Pegfilgrastim and Filgrastim or endogenous G-CSF which interact via concurrent receptor binding. Unknown pharmacokinetic or cell-kinetic parameters were determined by fitting the predictions of the model to available datasets of G-CSF applications, chemotherapy applications or combinations of it. Data were either extracted from the literature or were received from cooperating clinical study groups. Model predictions fitted well to both, datasets used for parameter estimation and validation scenarios as well. A unique set of parameters was identified which is valid for all scenarios considered. Differences in pharmacokinetic parameter estimates between Filgrastim and Pegfilgrastim were biologically plausible throughout.
Conclusion: We conclude that we established a comprehensive biomathematical model to explain the dynamics of granulopoiesis under chemotherapy and applications of two different G-CSF derivatives. We aim to apply the model to a large variety of chemotherapy regimen in the future in order to optimize corresponding G-CSF schedules or to individualize G-CSF treatment according to the granulotoxic risk of a patient.