The purpose of the present study was to characterize the distribution and elimination kinetics of the paclitaxel vehicle Cremophor EL (CrEL), a polyoxyethylated castor oil that can modulate P-glycoprotein-mediated multidrug resistance in vitro. The pharmacokinetics of CrEL were studied using noncompartmental models in 23 patients with histological proof of malignant solid tumors, receiving paclitaxel as a 3-h i.v. infusion at dose levels ranging from 100-225 mg/m2 (corresponding to CrEL doses of 8.33-18.8 ml/m2). Serial plasma samples were obtained before and up to 72 h after drug administration, and were analyzed for the presence of CrEL by a novel colorimetric dye-binding microassay. The area under the plasma concentration versus time curves and the peak plasma levels of CrEL increased from 253+/-36.8 (mean+/-SD) to 680+/- 180 microl.h/ml, and from 3.40+/-0.10 to 6.58+/-0.52 microl/ml, respectively, consistent with linear pharmacokinetics. Disappearance of CrEL from the central plasma compartment was characterized by a terminal elimination half-life of 84.1+/-20.4 h, resulting in extended persistence of substantial levels even at 1 week after paclitaxel treatment. The observed volume of distribution was extremely low and averaged 3.70+/-0.49 liters/m2, implying that the tumor delivery of CrEL is insignificant. Our results indicate that CrEL is a relatively slow clearance compound and that its distribution is limited to the central plasma compartment. Hence, CrEL is not likely to play a role in reversing P-glycoprotein-mediated multidrug resistance to paclitaxel in vivo.
Clinical Cancer Research
Department of Medical Oncology

Sparreboom, A., Verweij, J., van der Burg, M., Loos, W., Brouwer, E., Viganò, L., … Gianni, L. (1998). Disposition of chremophor EL in humans limits the potential for modulation of the multidrug resistance phenotype in vivo. Clinical Cancer Research, 4, 1937–1942. Retrieved from