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Imatinib plasma concentrations variability in oncologic patients
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
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DESS en Pharmacie hospitalière
Imatinib (Glivec®) has transformed the treatment and short-term prognosis of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). However, the treatment must be taken indefinitely, it is not devoid of inconvenience and toxicity. Moreover, resistance or escape from disease control occurs in a significant number of patients. Imatinib is a substrate of the cytochromes P450 CYP3A4/5 and of the multidrug transporter P-glycoprotein (product of the MDR1 gene). Considering the large inter-individual differences in the expression and function of those systems, the disposition and clinical activity of imatinib can be expected to vary widely among patients, calling for dosage individualization. The aim of this exploratory study was to determine the average pharmacokinetic parameters characterizing the disposition of imatinib in the target population, to assess their inter-individual variability, and to identify influential factors affecting them. A total of 321 plasma concentrations, taken at various sampling times after the latest dose, were measured in 59 patients receiving Glivec at diverse regimens, using a validated HPLC-UV method developed for this study. The results were analyzed by non-linear mixed effect modeling (NONMEM). A one-compartment model with first-order absorption appeared appropriate to describe the data, with an average apparent clearance of 12.4 l/h, a distribution volume of 268 l and an absorption constant of 0.47 h-1. The clearance was affected by body weight, age and sex. No influences of interacting drugs were found. DNA samples were used for pharmacogenetic explorations. At present, only the MDR1 polymorphism has been assessed and seems to affect the pharmacokinetic parameters of imatinib. Large inter-individual variability remained unexplained by the demographic covariates considered, both on clearance (40 %) and distribution volume (71 %). Together with intra-patient variability (34 %), this translates into an 8-fold width of the 90 %-prediction interval of plasma concentrations expected under a fixed dosing regimen. This is a strong argument to further investigate the possible usefulness of a therapeutic drug monitoring program for imatinib. It may help to individualize the dosing regimen before overt disease progression or observation of treatment toxicity, thus improving both the long-term therapeutic effectiveness and tolerability of this drug.
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