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Saturday 01 December 2001

Salivary and plasma pharmacokinetics of topotecan in patients with metastatic epithelial ovarian cancer.

By: Boucaud M, Pinguet F, Poujol S, Romieu G, Cupissol D, Astre C, Culine S, Bressolle F.

Eur J Cancer 2001 Dec;37(18):2357-64

The comparative saliva/plasma pharmacokinetics of topotecan were investigated in 13 patients with metastatic epithelial ovarian cancer receiving topotecan (30-min intravenous (i.v.) infusion) on a five consecutive day schedule every 3 weeks. During the first and the second courses of treatment, each patient underwent pharmacokinetic evaluation. Quantitation of the total topotecan (lactone plus carboxylate form) was assessed by a highly specific high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method. Large patient-to-patient variations in the plasma and saliva concentrations were observed. Plasma and saliva pharmacokinetics could be described using a biexponential pattern. From the saliva data, the half-life of the terminal part of the curve was 2.64 h, it was of the same order of magnitude as the topotecan elimination half-life determined from the plasma data, 3.18 h. Topotecan concentrations were higher in the saliva than in the plasma, the saliva/plasma concentration ratio averaged 2.31 and the ratio area under the parotid saliva (AUC(s)) over plasma (AUC(p)) concentration-time curve (AUC(s)/AUC(p)) averaged 2.11. For each individual, a significant relationship was found between topotecan concentrations in the saliva and in the plasma, the coefficients of correlation ranged from 0.75 to 0.92 according to the patient. Myelosuppression, especially granulocytopenia was the most frequent toxicity encountered during the trial. The percent decrease in the leucocyte count, absolute neutrophil count and platelet count were related to the AUCp/day using sigmoidal E(max) models. The high values of the Hill constant found reflect the very steep AUC-haematoxicity relationship observed. In most cases, abdominal pain occurred in patients presenting high saliva concentrations. One patient with high salivary concentrations (mean S/P ratio=4.60) had grade 1 mucositis. In conclusion, the concentration of topotecan in saliva appeared to be useful as an indirect, non-invasive estimation of the levels of topotecan in the plasma; thus, saliva concentrations could be a good predictor of the behaviour of topotecan in the body.

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