Simulation of drug-drug interactions between breast cancer chemotherapeutic agents and antiemetic drugs

Authors: Deb S, Hopefl R
Publication: Daru Jour Pharma Sci
Software: GastroPlus®



Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting are commonly experienced side effects in breast cancer (BCa) patients. Antiemetic drugs used in BCa treatment are either inhibitors or inducers of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, while anticancer drugs are metabolized by CYPs.


The purpose of the present work was to evaluate in silico drug-drug interaction (DDI) potential between BCa chemotherapeutic drugs and antiemetic agents.


The Drug-Drug Interaction™ module of GastroPlus™ was employed to assess CYP-related interactions between antiemetic and anticancer therapy combinations. The CYP inhibitory or inducing parameters (IC50, Ki, EC50) used in simulations were obtained from the literature.


Analyses of twenty-three BCa drugs indicated that 22% of the chemotherapeutic drugs do not need an antiemetic agent due to their low emetogenicity, whereas 30% of the anticancer drugs are not metabolized by CYPs. The remaining eleven anticancer drugs metabolized by CYPs generated ninety-nine combinations with nine antiemetics. Simulation of DDIs suggest that about half of the pairs did not demonstrate any potential for DDI, whereas 30%, 10%, and 9% of the pairs showed weak, moderate, and strong interaction potential, respectively. In the present study, netupitant was the only antiemetic that showed strong inhibitory interactions (predicted AUC ratio > 5) with CYP3A4-metabolzied anticancer therapies (e.g., docetaxel, ribociclib, olaparib). Moderate to no interactions were observed with ondansetron, aprepitant, rolapitant, and dexamethasone in combination with anticancer agents.


It is critical to recognize that these interactions can get amplified in cancer patients because of the severity of the disease and chemotherapy toxicities. Clinicians need to be aware of the DDI likelihood of the drug combinations used in BCa treatment.

By Subrata Deb & Robert Hopefl