Plasma and cerebrospinal fluid population pharmacokinetics of temozolomide in malignant glioma patients

Sandrine Ostermann, Chantal Csajkag, Thierry Buclin, Serge Leyvraz, Ferdy Lejeune, Laurent A. Decosterd, Roger Stupp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

303 Scopus citations


Purpose: Scarce information is available on the brain penetration of temozolomide (TMZ), although this novel methylating agent is mainly used for the treatment of malignant brain tumors. The purpose was to assess TMZ pharmacokinetics in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) along with its inter-individual variability, to characterize covariates and to explore relationships between systemic or cerebral drug exposure and clinical outcomes. Experimental Design: TMZ levels were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography in plasma and CSF samples from 35 patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent malignant gliomas. The population pharmacokinetic analysis was performed with nonlinear mixed-effect modeling software. Drug exposure, defined by the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) in plasma and CSF, was estimated for each patient and correlated with toxicity, survival, and progression-free survival. Results: A three-compartment model with first-order absorption and transfer rates between plasma and CSF described the data appropriately. Oral clearance was 10 liter/h; volume of distribution (V D), 30.3 liters; absorption constant rate, 5.8 h-1; elimination half-time, 2.1 h; transfer rate from plasma to CSF (K plasma→CSF), 7.2 × 10-4 h-1 and the backwards rate, 0.76 h-1. Body surface area significantly influenced both clearance and VD, and clearance was sex dependent. The AUC CSF corresponded to 20% of the AUCplasma. A trend toward an increased KPplasma→CSF of 15% was observed in case of concomitant radiochemotherapy. No significant correlations between AUC in plasma or CSF and toxicity, survival, or progression-free survival were apparent after deduction of dose-effect. Conclusions: This is the first human pharmacokinetic study on TMZ to quantify CSF penetration. The AUC CSF/AUCplasma ratio was 20%. Systemic or cerebral exposures are not better predictors than the cumulative dose alone for both efficacy and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3728-3736
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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