Sunitinib for the treatment of metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors: the effect of TDM-guided dose optimization on clinical outcomes.



A TDM-guided cohort was compared to a non-TDM-guided cohort in terms of median progression-free survival (mPFS) and overall survival (mOS). Also, mPFS between patients with and without dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) was compared. Patients in the prospective cohort were included in two studies on TDM-guided dosing (the DPOG-TDM study and TUNE study). The retrospective cohort consisted of patients from the Dutch GIST Registry who did not receive TDM-guided dosing.


In total, 51 and 106 patients were included in the TDM-guided cohort and non-TDM-guided cohort, respectively. No statistical difference in mPFS was observed between these two cohorts (39.4 versus 46.9 weeks, respectively; P = 0.52). Patients who experienced sunitinib-induced DLTs had longer mPFS compared to those who did not (51.9 versus 28.9 weeks, respectively; P = 0.002).


Sunitinib is an oral anticancer drug approved for the treatment of among others gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Previous analyses demonstrated an exposure-response relationship at the standard dose, and minimum target levels of drug exposure have been defined above which better treatment outcomes are observed. Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) could be used as a tool to optimize the individual dose, aiming at sunitinib trough concentrations ≥37.5 ng/ml for continuous dosing. Nonetheless, data on the added value of TDM-guided dosing on clinical endpoints are currently lacking. Therefore, we evaluate the effect of TDM in patients with advanced and metastatic GIST treated with sunitinib in terms of efficacy and toxicity.


Our results do not support the routine use of TDM-guided dose optimization of sunitinib in patients with advanced/metastatic GIST to improve survival.

More about this publication

ESMO open
  • Volume 9
  • Issue nr. 6
  • Pages 103477
  • Publication date 01-06-2024

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