Population pharmacokinetic and adverse event analysis of topotecan in patients with solid tumors

Diane R. Mould, Nicholas H G Holford, Jan H M Schellens, Jos H. Beijnen, Paul R. Hutson, Hilde Rosing, Willem W. Ten Bokkel Huinink, Eric K. Rowinsky, Joan H. Schiller, Mark Russo, Graham Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Objective: Our objective was to describe the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of topotecan in patients. Methods: Data were pooled from 9 clinical trials. Topotecan, as a single-agent therapy, was administered as a daily 30-minute intravenous infusion for 5 days on a 3-week cycle. Doses of 0.2 to 2.0 mg/m2 were studied; concentration and neutropenic event data were obtained on multiple occasions. The pharmacokinetics were characterized with use of hierarchical nonlinear regression. The relationship between severity of neutropenia and exposure was characterized with use of logistic regression. Results: The pharmacokinetics of topotecan were described with a linear 2-compartment model. Compromised renal function, low body weight, and poor Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status were determinants of lower clearance, resulting in elevated exposure. Application of covariates reduced interpatient variability in clearance. Logistic regression showed that topotecan area under the concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 hours was predictive of the severity of neutropenia; the only other significant covariate was the number of courses of previous treatment with platinum-based regimens. Conclusions: Patients with compromised renal function, low body weight, or poor performance status had low topotecan clearance. Patients with high topotecan AUC had an increased probability of experiencing severe neutropenia, which was greater if the patient had been pretreated with platinum-based agents. The use of covariates to individualize dose would result in less variability in exposure, reducing the likelihood of severe neutropenia and potentially improving treatment benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-348
Number of pages15
JournalClinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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