Official reprint from UpToDate®
www.uptodate.com ©2017 UpToDate, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Medline ® Abstract for Reference 20

of 'Dosing of anticancer agents in adults'

Correlations between imatinib pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, adherence, and clinical response in advanced metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST): an emerging role for drug blood level testing?
von Mehren M, Widmer N
Cancer Treat Rev. 2011 Jun;37(4):291-9. Epub 2010 Nov 24.
Imatinib is the standard of care for patients with advanced metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), and is also approved for adjuvant treatment in patients at substantial risk of relapse. Studies have shown that maximizing benefit from imatinib depends on long-term administration at recommended doses. Pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic factors, adherence, and drug-drug interactions can affect exposure to imatinib and impact clinical outcomes. This article reviews the relevance of these factors to imatinib's clinical activity and response in the context of what has been demonstrated in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and in light of new data correlating imatinib exposure to response in patients with GIST. Because of the wide inter-patient variability in drug exposure with imatinib in both CML and GIST, blood level testing (BLT) may play a role in investigating instances of suboptimal response, unusually severe toxicities, drug-drug interactions, and suspected non-adherence. Published clinical data in CML and in GIST were considered, including data from a PK substudy of the B2222 trial correlating imatinib blood levels with clinical responses in patients with GIST. Imatinib trough plasma levels<1100 ng/mL were associated with lower rates of objectiveresponse and faster development of progressive disease in patients with GIST. These findings have been supported by other analyses correlating free imatinib (unbound) levels with response. These results suggest a future application for imatinib BLT in predicting and optimizing therapeutic response. Nevertheless, early estimates of threshold imatinib blood levels must be confirmed prospectively in future studies and elaborated for different patient subgroups.
Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA. Nicolas.Widmer@chuv.ch