European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 68, Issue 5, pp 723–733 | Cite as

Population pharmacokinetic and exposure-response analysis of nilotinib in patients with newly diagnosed Ph+ chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase

  • Richard A. Larson
  • Ophelia Q. P. YinEmail author
  • Andreas Hochhaus
  • Giuseppe Saglio
  • Richard E. Clark
  • Hirohisa Nakamae
  • Neil J. Gallagher
  • Eren Demirhan
  • Timothy P. Hughes
  • Hagop M. Kantarjian
  • Philipp D. le Coutre
Pharmacokinetics and Disposition



We investigated the population pharmacokinetics and exposure-response relationship of nilotinib in patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase.


Nilotinib was given at 300 mg or 400 mg twice daily. Serum concentration data (sparse and full pharmacokinetic profiles) were obtained from 542 patients over 12 months. A population pharmacokinetic analysis was performed using nonlinear mixed-effect modeling. Exposure-response relationships were explored graphically or using logistic regression models.


Nilotinib concentrations were stable over 12 months. Patients in the 400 mg twice-daily arm had an 11.5% higher exposure than did those in the 300 mg twice-daily arm, and the relative bioavailability of nilotinib 400 mg twice daily was 0.84 times that of 300 mg twice daily. Patient demographics did not significantly affect nilotinib pharmacokinetics. The occurrence of all-grade total bilirubin elevation was significantly higher in patients with higher nilotinib exposure, and a positive correlation was also observed between nilotinib exposure and QTcF change on electrocardiograms from baseline. There was no significant relationship between nilotinib exposure and major molecular response at 12 months.


There is a less than proportional dose-exposure relationship between nilotinib 300 mg and 400 mg twice-daily doses. Blood level testing is unlikely to play an important role in the general management of patients with newly diagnosed CML treated with nilotinib.


Nilotinib Population pharmacokinetics Exposure-response relationship Chronic myeloid leukemia 



We thank Yen-Lin Chia, PhD, and William Sallas, PhD, for their contribution to the analyses described herewith. Financial support for medical editorial assistance was provided by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. We thank Erinn Goldman, PhD, for medical editorial assistance with this manuscript.

Conflicts of interest

Dr. Larson received research support, honoraria, and consulting fees from Novartis; Dr. Yin is an employee and stock holder of Novartis; Dr. Hochhaus has received research support, honoraria, and consulting fees from Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb; Dr. Saglio has received honoraria and consulting fees from Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb; Dr. Clark has received research support, honoraria, and consulting fees from Novartis; Dr. Nakamae has received honoraria from Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb; Dr. Gallagher is a Novartis employee and stock holder; Dr. Eren Demirhan is a Novartis employee; Dr. Hughes has received research support, honoraria, and consulting fees from Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb; Dr. Kantarjian has received research support and consulting fees from Novartis; and Dr. le Coutre has received research support and honoraria from Novartis and consulting fees from Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Larson
    • 1
  • Ophelia Q. P. Yin
    • 2
    • 11
    Email author
  • Andreas Hochhaus
    • 3
  • Giuseppe Saglio
    • 4
  • Richard E. Clark
    • 5
  • Hirohisa Nakamae
    • 6
  • Neil J. Gallagher
    • 7
  • Eren Demirhan
    • 2
  • Timothy P. Hughes
    • 8
  • Hagop M. Kantarjian
    • 9
  • Philipp D. le Coutre
    • 10
  1. 1.University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Novartis Pharmaceuticals CorporationFlorham ParkUSA
  3. 3.Universitätsklinikum JenaJenaGermany
  4. 4.University of TurinOrbassanoItaly
  5. 5.Royal Liverpool University HospitalLiverpoolUK
  6. 6.Osaka City UniversityOsakaJapan
  7. 7.Novartis Pharma AGBaselSwitzerland
  8. 8.SA Pathology Royal Adelaide HospitalAdelaideAustralia
  9. 9.The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  10. 10.Campus Virchow KlinikumCharité – Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  11. 11.Oncology Clinical PharmacologyNovartis Pharmaceuticals CorporationFlorham ParkUSA

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