Journal of Theoretical Medicine
Volume 1 (1998), Issue 3, Pages 209-221

Chemotherapeutic Effects on Hematopoiesis: A Mathematical Model

School of Science, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Station Road, Erie, PA 16563-0203, USA

Received 17 September 1997; Accepted 26 January 1998

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Blood cell production is one of the major limiting effects of cell-cycle-specific chemotherapy. By studying the effects of the drugs on a mathematical model of hematopoiesis, a better understanding of how to prevent over-reduction of circulating blood may be investigated.

In this model we will use a delay-differential equation developed by Mackey and Glass (1977) to show acceptable chemotherapeutic deses (i.e. survival of the circulating blood cells) as a function of: the period which the drugs are administered; the strength of the dose; and the delay from initiation of blood cell production to its release into the blood stream. We then make qualitative comparisons to know effects of cell-cycle-specific chemotherapy on circulating blood cell elements. Finally, we also consider how the effects of hematopoietic growth factors alter the outcome of the therapy.