Development of a population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model for various oral paclitaxel formulations co-administered with ritonavir and thrombospondin-1 based on data from early phase clinical studies.



Orally administered paclitaxel offers increased patient convenience while providing a method to prolong exposure without long continuous, or repeated, intravenous infusions. The oral bioavailability of paclitaxel is improved through co-administration with ritonavir and application of a suitable pharmaceutical formulation, which addresses the dissolution-limited absorption of paclitaxel. We aimed to characterize the pharmacokinetics of different paclitaxel formulations, co-administered with ritonavir, and to investigate a pharmacodynamic relationship between low-dose metronomic (LDM) treatment with oral paclitaxel and the anti-angiogenic marker thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1).


The developed pharmacokinetic model adequately described the paclitaxel plasma concentrations for the different oral formulations co-administered with ritonavir. This model, and the established pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship with TSP-1, may facilitate future development of oral paclitaxel.


Fifty-eight patients treated with different oral paclitaxel formulations were included for pharmacokinetic analysis. Pharmacodynamic data was available for 36 patients. All population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modelling was performed using non-linear mixed-effects modelling.


A pharmacokinetic model consisting of gut, liver, central, and peripheral compartments was developed for paclitaxel. The gastrointestinal absorption rate was modelled with a Weibull function. Relative gut bioavailabilities of the tablet and capsule formulations, as fractions of the gut bioavailability of the drinking solution, were estimated to be 0.97 (95%CI: 0.67-1.33) and 0.46 (95%CI: 0.34-0.61), respectively. The pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship between paclitaxel and TSP-1 was modelled using a turnover model with paclitaxel plasma concentrations driving an increase in TSP-1 formation rate following an Emax relationship with an EC50 of 284 ng/mL (95%CI: 122-724).

More about this publication

Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology
  • Volume 90
  • Issue nr. 1
  • Pages 71-82
  • Publication date 01-07-2022

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