Anticancer drugs still are dosed based on the body-surface area (BSA) of the individual patient, although the BSA is not the main predictor of the clearance for the majority of drugs. The relevance of BSA-based dosing has not been evaluated for topotecan yet. A retrospective pharmacological analysis was performed of kinetic data from four clinical Phase I studies in which topotecan was administered p.o. as a single agent combined with data from a combination study of topotecan and cisplatin. A strong correlation (r = 0.91) was found between the area under the plasma concentration time curve of the lactone and carboxylate forms of topotecan by plotting 326 data sets obtained from 112 patients receiving oral topotecan at dose levels ranging from 0.15-2.70 mg/m2. The intrapatient variability, studied in 47 patients sampled for 3 or more days, for the apparent lactone clearance, ranged from 7.4-69% (mean, 24 +/- 13%; median, 20%). The interpatient variabilities in the lactone clearance, calculated with the data of all studied patients, expressed in liter/h/m2 and in liter/h were 38% and 42%, respectively. In view of the relatively high inter- and intrapatient variabilities in topotecan clearance, in contrast to a variability of only 12% in the BSA of the studied patients, no advantage of BSA-based dosing was found over fixed dose regimens.

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Clinical Cancer Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Loos, W., Gelderblom, H., Sparreboom, A., Verweij, J., & de Jonge, M. (2000). Inter- and intrapatient variability in oral topotecan pharmacokinetics: implications for body-surface area dosage regimens. Clinical Cancer Research. Retrieved from