Population pharmacokinetic meta-analysis of trabectedin (ET-743, Yondelis) in cancer patients

Publication: Clin Pharmacokinet
Division: Cognigen



To characterise the population pharmacokinetics of trabectedin (ET-743, Yondelis(R)) in cancer patients.


A total of 603 patients (945 cycles) receiving intravenous trabectedin as monotherapy at doses ranging from 0.024 to 1.8 mg/m(2) and given as a 1-, 3- or 24-hour infusion every 21 days; a 1- or 3-hour infusion on days 1, 8 and 15 of a 28-day cycle; or a 1-hour infusion daily for 5 consecutive days every 21 days were included in the analysis. An open four-compartment pharmacokinetic model with linear elimination, linear and nonlinear distribution to the deep and shallow peripheral compartments, respectively, and a catenary compartment off the shallow compartment was developed to best describe the index dataset using NONMEM V software. The effect of selected patient covariates on trabectedin pharmacokinetics was investigated. Model evaluation was performed using goodness-of-fit plots and relative error measurements for the test dataset. Simulations were undertaken to evaluate covariate effects on trabectedin pharmacokinetics.


The mean (SD) trabectedin elimination half-life was approximately 180 (61.4) hours. Plasma accumulation was limited when trabectedin was given every 3 weeks. Systemic clearance (31.5 L/h, coefficient of variation 51%) was 19.2% higher in patients receiving concomitant dexamethasone. The typical values of the volume of distribution at steady state for male and female patients were 6070L and 5240L, respectively. Within the range studied, age, body size variables, AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, total bilirubin, creatinine clearance, albumin, total protein, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status and presence of liver metastases were not statistically related to trabectedin pharmacokinetic parameters. The pharmacokinetic parameters of trabectedin were consistent across the infusion durations and dose regimens evaluated.


The integration of trabectedin pharmacokinetic data demonstrated linear elimination, dose-proportionality up to 1.8 mg/m(2) and time-independent pharmacokinetics. The pharmacokinetic impact of dexamethasone and sex covariates is probably limited given the moderate to large interindividual pharmacokinetic variability of trabectedin. The antiemetic and hepatoprotective effects are still a valid rationale to recommend dexamethasone as a supportive treatment for trabectedin.

By, Perez-Ruixo JJ, Zannikos,P, Hirankarn S, Stuyckens K, Elizabeth Ludwig, Soto-Matos A, Lopez-Lazaro L, Joel Owen