Background and Objective: Bodyweight-based dosing of tacrolimus is considered standard care. Currently, at first steady state, a third of pediatric kidney transplant recipients has a tacrolimus pre-dose concentration within the target range. We investigated whether adaptation of the starting dose according to a validated dosing algorithm could increase this proportion. Methods: This was a multi-center, single-arm, prospective trial with a planned interim analysis after 16 patients, in which the tacrolimus starting dose was based on bodyweight, cytochrome P450 3A5 genotype, and donor status (living vs. deceased donor). Results: At the interim analysis, 31% of children had a tacrolimus pre-dose concentration within the target range. As the original dosing algorithm was poorly predictive of tacrolimus exposure, the clinical trial was terminated prematurely. Next, the original model was improved by including the data of the children included in this trial, thereby doubling the number of children in the model building cohort. Data were best described with a two-compartment model with inter-individual variability, allometric scaling, and inter-occasion variability on clearance. Cytochrome P450 3A5 genotype, hematocrit, and creatinine influenced the tacrolimus clearance. A new starting dose model was developed in which the cytochrome P450 3A5 genotype was incorporated. Both models were successfully internally and externally validated. Conclusions: The weight-normalized starting dose of tacrolimus should be higher in patients with a lower bodyweight and in those who are cytochrome P450 3A5 expressers.,
Clinical Pharmacokinetics
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Andrews, L., de Winter, B., Cornelissen, E., de Jong, H. (Huib), Hesselink, D., Schreuder, M., … Cransberg, K. (2019). A Population Pharmacokinetic Model Does Not Predict the Optimal Starting Dose of Tacrolimus in Pediatric Renal Transplant Recipients in a Prospective Study: Lessons Learned and Model Improvement. Clinical Pharmacokinetics. doi:10.1007/s40262-019-00831-8