Neutropenia is a major dose-limiting toxicity of cancer chemotherapy. Semimechanistic mathematical models have been applied to describe the time course of neutrophil counts. The objectives of this study were to develop a mathematical model describing changes in neutrophil counts during eribulin treatment, to apply the empirical Bayes method to predict the probability of developing neutropenia ≥ grade 3 during eribulin treatment in each patient, and to propose the implementation of this mathematical tool in clinical practice for individual safety management.
The present model analysis and subsequent external evaluation were performed using the data of 481 patients with breast cancer, previously obtained from a postmarketing surveillance (training set) and a phase 2 clinical study (validation set). The model we previously reported (Kawamura et al 2018) was modified to improve its predictive capability. The individual time course of neutrophil changes during the treatment period was predicted by the empirical Bayes method using the observed neutrophil counts at baseline and the first measurement after the first eribulin dose. To evaluate the predictability of this method, the predicted neutrophil counts were compared with those of the observed values.
The developed model provided good individual predictions, as indicated by the goodness-of-fit plots between the predicted and observed neutrophil counts, especially for a lower neutrophil count range. Days required to reach the nadir after the dose were also well-predicted. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the prediction of neutropenia grade ≥3 were 76%, 53%, and 71%, respectively.
We developed a mathematical method for predicting and managing the risk of neutropenia during eribulin treatment. This method is generally applicable to other cases of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and can be a new practical tool for individual safety management.