Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 379–386

Imatinib pharmacokinetics in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumour: a retrospective population pharmacokinetic study over time. EORTC Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group


    • Royal Marsden Hospital
  • Peiming Ma
    • Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • Bin Peng
    • Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • Jaap Verweij
    • Department of Medical OncologyErasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam
  • Amy Racine
    • Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • Eugenio Donato di Paola
    • EORTC Data Center
  • Martine van Glabbeke
    • EORTC Data Center
  • Sasa Dimitrijevic
    • Novartis OncologyNovartis Pharma AG
  • Michelle Scurr
    • Royal Marsden Hospital
  • Herlinde Dumez
    • Department of Oncology, UZ GasthuisbergKU Leuven
  • Allan van Oosterom
    • Department of Oncology, UZ GasthuisbergKU Leuven
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00280-004-0876-0

Cite this article as:
Judson, I., Ma, P., Peng, B. et al. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol (2005) 55: 379. doi:10.1007/s00280-004-0876-0


Imatinib pharmacokinetics (PK) may be affected by a number of factors that are related to the disease being treated and to the response of that disease to imatinib. Patients in the phase I and phase II trials conducted by the EORTC in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) and other sarcomas had detailed blood sampling for imatinib PK on day 1 and on day 29. Patients with GISTs also had repeat sampling, using a limited sampling strategy, after approximately 12 months on therapy. This population PK study was carried out to examine what covariates affected imatinib PK in GIST patients and what PK changes occurred over time. In the model producing the best fit, low clearance (CL) correlated with low body weight and high granulocyte count, whereas low haemoglobin correlated with low volume of distribution. For a patient with 77% of the median body weight or with 1.87 times the median granulocyte count, the apparent CL is 6.53 l/h, about 70% of the typical apparent CL of 9.33 l/h; for a patient of 84% of the typical haemoglobin level, the volume of distribution is about 70%. Total white blood cell count correlated closely with granulocyte count and there was a moderate correlation between haemoglobin and albumin (r=0.454). There was a trend towards increased imatinib clearance after chronic exposure over 12 months. The typical apparent CL increased 33% from day 1. Nevertheless, the approximate 95% confidence interval of the increase of the typical apparent CL was 33±34.6%, which contains zero. It is not yet clear whether this is a significant factor in the amelioration of imatinib toxicity that occurs with time or is related to disease control, and further work is required to confirm this observation.


ImatinibPharmacokineticsGastrointestinal stromal tumours

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004