Clinical Pharmacokinetics

, Volume 52, Issue 8, pp 705–712 | Cite as

Standard Pentostatin Dose Reductions in Renal Insufficiency Are Not Adequate: Selected Patients with Steroid-Refractory Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease

  • Ming J. Poi
  • Craig C. Hofmeister
  • Jeffrey S. Johnston
  • Ryan B. Edwards
  • Buffy S. Jansak
  • David M. Lucas
  • Sherif S. Farag
  • James T. Dalton
  • Steven M. Devine
  • Michael R. Grever
  • Mitch A. PhelpsEmail author
Short Communication


Background and Objective

Pentostatin is an irreversible inhibitor of adenosine deaminase and has been used to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and to treat both acute and chronic GVHD. Dose reduction equations for patients with renal insufficiency are based on few patients with limited pharmacokinetic and clinical results. This phase II study (NCT00201786) was conducted to assess pentostatin efficacy and infectious complications seen from our previous phase I study in steroid-refractory acute GVHD (aGVHD).

Patients and Methods

Hospitalized patients with steroid-refractory aGVHD were given pentostatin 1.5 mg/m2/day intravenously on days 1–3 of each 14-day cycle. Prior to each dose, dose modifications were based on Cockcroft–Gault estimated creatinine clearance (eCrCL) with 30–50 mL/min/1.73 m2 leading to a 50 % dose reduction and eCrCL less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 leading to study removal. Plasma pentostatin area under the concentration–time curve (AUC) and incidence of infectious complications were evaluated.


Two of the eight patients treated demonstrated excessive pentostatin exposure as determined by measurement of AUC. One of these patients had renal impairment, whereas the other patient demonstrated borderline renal function. Despite dose reduction to 0.75 mg/m2, AUCs were significantly increased compared to the other patients in this study. Seven of eight patients treated with pentostatin had cytomegalovirus (CMV) viremia after pentostatin treatment; however none developed proven CMV disease.


A 50 % dose reduction in patients with eCrCL 30–50 mL/min/1.73 m2 seems reasonable. However, the eCrCL should be interpreted with extreme caution in patients who are critically ill and/or with poor performance status. Renal function assessment based on the Cockcroft–Gault method could be significantly overestimated thus risking pentostatin overdosing. These results imply a need to closely monitor pentostatin exposure in patients with renal insufficiency.


Adenosine Deaminase Chronic GVHD Hairy Cell Leukemia Donor Lymphocyte Infusion Pentostatin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute awarded to Dr. Craig Hofmeister, a Paul Calabresi scholar (award number K12CA133250). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. This study was funded in part by SuperGen, Inc.

All authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming J. Poi
    • 1
  • Craig C. Hofmeister
    • 2
  • Jeffrey S. Johnston
    • 3
  • Ryan B. Edwards
    • 4
  • Buffy S. Jansak
    • 4
  • David M. Lucas
    • 2
  • Sherif S. Farag
    • 5
  • James T. Dalton
    • 3
  • Steven M. Devine
    • 2
  • Michael R. Grever
    • 2
  • Mitch A. Phelps
    • 3
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PharmacyThe Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Division of Hematology, Department of MedicineThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Division of Pharmaceutics, College of PharmacyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  4. 4.The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research InstituteThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  5. 5.Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of MedicineIndiana UniversityIndianapolisUSA
  6. 6.Department of Pharmacology, College of MedicineThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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