Population pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenetic analysis of 6-mercaptopurine in paediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Ahmed F. Hawwa, Paul S. Collier, Jeff S. Millership, Anthony McCarthy, Sid Dempsey, Carole Cairns, James C. McElnay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

WHAT IS ALREADY KNOWN ABOUT THIS SUBJECT
• The cytotoxic effects of 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) were found to be due to drug-derived intracellular metabolites (mainly 6-thioguanine nucleotides and to some extent 6-methylmercaptopurine nucleotides) rather than the drug itself.
• Current empirical dosing methods for oral 6-MP result in highly variable drug and metabolite concentrations and hence variability in treatment outcome.

WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS
• The first population pharmacokinetic model has been developed for 6-MP active metabolites in paediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and the potential demographic and genetically controlled factors that could lead to interpatient pharmacokinetic variability among this population have been assessed.
• The model shows a large reduction in interindividual variability of pharmacokinetic parameters when body surface area and thiopurine methyltransferase polymorphism are incorporated into the model as covariates.
• The developed model offers a more rational dosing approach for 6-MP than the traditional empirical method (based on body surface area) through combining it with pharmacogenetically guided dosing based on thiopurine methyltransferase genotype.
AIMS - To investigate the population pharmacokinetics of 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) active metabolites in paediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and examine the effects of various genetic polymorphisms on the disposition of these metabolites.
METHODS - Data were collected prospectively from 19 paediatric patients with ALL (n = 75 samples, 150 concentrations) who received 6-MP maintenance chemotherapy (titrated to a target dose of 75 mg m−2 day−1). All patients were genotyped for polymorphisms in three enzymes involved in 6-MP metabolism. Population pharmacokinetic analysis was performed with the nonlinear mixed effects modelling program (nonmem) to determine the population mean parameter estimate of clearance for the active metabolites.
RESULTS - The developed model revealed considerable interindividual variability (IIV) in the clearance of 6-MP active metabolites [6-thioguanine nucleotides (6-TGNs) and 6-methylmercaptopurine nucleotides (6-mMPNs)]. Body surface area explained a significant part of 6-TGNs clearance IIV when incorporated in the model (IIV reduced from 69.9 to 29.3%). The most influential covariate examined, however, was thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) genotype, which resulted in the greatest reduction in the model's objective function (P < 0.005) when incorporated as a covariate affecting the fractional metabolic transformation of 6-MP into 6-TGNs. The other genetic covariates tested were not statistically significant and therefore were not included in the final model.
CONCLUSIONS - The developed pharmacokinetic model (if successful at external validation) would offer a more rational dosing approach for 6-MP than the traditional empirical method since it combines the current practice of using body surface area in 6-MP dosing with a pharmacogenetically guided dosing based on TPMT genotype.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)826-837
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Volume66
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • 6-mercaptopurine
  • acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
  • NONMEM
  • pharmacogenetics
  • population pharmacokinetics

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