Encyclopedia of Cancer

2011 Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics in Drug Development

  • Simon Pacey
  • Paul WorkmanEmail author
  • Debashis Sarker
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_4501



 Pharmacokinetics (PK) is the study of how a drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted over time.


 Pharmacodynamics (PD) is the study of how a drug affects its target(s) in a dose- and time-dependent fashion.


To maximize the chance of successful drug development, a comprehensive knowledge of the compound under investigation is required. Assuming the drug target has been correctly selected, drug efficacy requires delivery into the patient such that adequate drug concentration is achieved within the plasma and tumor (measured by PK studies) to effect target modulation (measured by PD studies), resulting in anticancer effect(s). These principles have been incorporated into a pharmacological audit trail consisting of a series of questions that should be addressed during drug design and development. These can be summarized as:
  • Is the drug target expressed in the tumor of interest?

  • Are adequate plasma and tumor drug...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cancer Research UK Center for Cancer TherapeuticsThe Institute of Cancer ResearchSurreyUK