Population Pharmacokinetics of Intracellular 5-Fluorouridine 5'-Triphosphate and its Relationship with Hand-and-Foot Syndrome in Patients Treated with Capecitabine


Capecitabine is an oral pro-drug of 5-fluorouracil. Patients with solid tumours who are treated with capecitabine may develop hand-and-foot syndrome (HFS) as side effect. This might be a result of accumulation of intracellular metabolites. We characterised the pharmacokinetics (PK) of 5-fluorouridine 5’-triphosphate (FUTP) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and assessed the relationship between exposure to capecitabine or its metabolites and the development of HFS. Plasma and intracellular capecitabine PK data and ordered categorical HFS data was available. A previously developed model describing the PK of capecitabine and metabolites was extended to describe the intracellular FUTP concentrations. Subsequently, a continuous-time Markov model was developed to describe the development of HFS during treatment with capecitabine. The influences of capecitabine and metabolite concentrations on the development of HFS were evaluated. The PK of intracellular FUTP was described by an one-compartment model with first-order elimination (ke,FUTP was 0.028 h-1 (95% confidence interval 0.022-0.039)) where the FUTP influx rate was proportional to the 5-FU plasma concentrations. The predicted individual intracellular FUTP concentration was identified as a significant predictor for the development and severity of HFS. Simulations demonstrated a clear exposure-response relationship. The intracellular FUTP concentrations were successfully described and a significant relationship between these intracellular concentrations and the development and severity of HFS was identified. This model can be used to simulate future dosing regimens and thereby optimise treatment with capecitabine.

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