Therapeutic drug monitoring to personalize dosing of imatinib, sunitinib, and pazopanib: A mixed methods study on barriers and facilitators.



Personalized dosing based on measurement of individual drug levels and adjusting the dose accordingly can improve efficacy and decrease unnecessary toxicity of oncological treatment. For imatinib, sunitinib, and pazopanib, this therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM)-guided dosing is, however, not routinely used, despite accumulating evidence favoring individualized dosing. Therefore, we aimed to identify and quantify (potential) barriers and facilitators in TDM-guided dosing for imatinib, sunitinib, and pazopanib.


We identified and quantified important barriers and facilitators for the implementation of TDM-guided dosing for imatinib, sunitinib, and pazopanib. Based on our results, the implementation strategy should mainly focus on educating both HCPs and patients and on the organizational aspect of TDM.


We performed a mixed methods study among all stakeholders involved: patients, healthcare professionals (HCPs), pharmaceutical companies, and health insurance companies. During the first qualitative part of this study, we performed semi-structured individual interviews and one focus group interview to identify all (potential) barriers and facilitators, and during the second quantitative part of this study, we used a web-based survey to quantify these findings. The interviews addressed the six domains of the implementation of change model of Grol and Wensing: (1) the innovation itself; (2) the HCP; (3) the patient; (4) social context; (5) organizational context; and (6) finances, law, and governance.


In the qualitative study, we interviewed 20 patients, 18 HCPs and 10 representatives of pharmaceutical and health insurance companies and identified 72 barriers and 90 facilitators. In the quantitative study, the survey was responded by 66 HCPs and 58 patients. Important barriers were on the domain of the HCP, such as a lack of experience with TDM (36.4%), on the domain of the patient, such as lack of awareness of TDM (39.7%), and the processing time for measurement and interpretation of the TDM result (40.9%) (organizational domain). Important facilitators were education of HCPs (95.5%), education of patients (87.9%) and facilitating an overview of when and where TDM measurements are being performed (86.4%).

More about this publication

Cancer medicine
  • Volume 12
  • Issue nr. 22
  • Pages 21041-21056
  • Publication date 01-11-2023

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