Application of physiologically based pharmacokinetics modeling in the research of small-molecule targeted anti-cancer drugs

Publication: Cancer Chemother Pharmacol
Software: GastroPlus®



Physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) models are increasingly used in the drug research and development, especially in anti-cancer drugs. Between 2001 and 2020, a total of 89 small-molecule targeted antitumor drugs were approved in China and the United States, some of which already included PBPK modeling in their application or approval packages. This article intended to review the prevalence and application of PBPK model in these drugs.


Article search was performed in the PubMed to collect English research articles on small-molecule targeted anti-cancer drugs using PBPK modeling. The selected articles were classified into nine categorizes according to the application areas and further analyzed.


From 2001 to 2020, more than 60% of small-molecule targeted anti-cancer drugs (54/89) were studied using PBPK model with a wide range of application. Ninety research articles were included, of which 48 involved enzyme-mediated drug-drug interaction (DDI). Of these retrieved articles, Simcyp, GastroPlus, and PK-Sim were the most widely model building platforms, which account for 63.8%, 15.2%, and 8.6%, respectively.


PBPK modeling is commonly and widely used to research small-molecule targeted anti-cancer drugs.

By Xiaowen Wang, Fang Chen, Nan Guo, Zhichun Gu, Houwen Lin, Xiaoqiang Xiang, Yufei Shi & Bing Han