The distributed delay model has been introduced that replaces the transit compartments in the classic model of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression with a convolution integral. The maturation of granulocyte precursors in the bone marrow is described by the gamma probability density function with the shape parameter (ν). If ν is a positive integer, the distributed delay model coincides with the classic model with ν transit compartments. The purpose of this work was to evaluate performance of the distributed delay model with particular focus on model deterministic identifiability in the presence of the shape parameter. The classic model served as a reference for comparison. Previously published white blood cell (WBC) count data in rats receiving bolus doses of 5-fluorouracil were fitted by both models. The negative two log-likelihood objective function (-2LL) and running times were used as major markers of performance. Local sensitivity analysis was done to evaluate the impact of ν on the pharmacodynamics response WBC. The ν estimate was 1.46 with 16.1% CV% compared to ν = 3 for the classic model. The difference of 6.78 in − 2LL between classic model and the distributed delay model implied that the latter performed significantly better than former according to the log-likelihood ratio test (P = 0.009), although the overall performance was modestly better. The running times were 1 s and 66.2 min, respectively. The long running time of the distributed delay model was attributed to computationally intensive evaluation of the convolution integral. The sensitivity analysis revealed that ν strongly influences the WBC response by controlling cell proliferation and elimination of WBCs from the circulation. In conclusion, the distributed delay model was deterministically identifiable from typical cytotoxic data. Its performance was modestly better than the classic model with significantly longer running time.
Transit compartments Convolution integral Integro-differential equations Distributed delay Leukopenia
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