Population pharmacokinetics of topotecan: intraindividual variability in total drug

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2000;46(5):375-81. doi: 10.1007/s002800000161.


The inter- and intraindividual variabilities in topotecan clearance (CL) were explored using a population pharmacokinetic approach. Total (lactone + hydroxy acid) topotecan plasma concentrations were obtained in 31 women with metastatic epithelial ovarian cancer treated by the 30-min intravenous infusion on 5 subsequent days. The data corresponding to three occasions (days 1 and 5 of cycle 1, and day 1 of cycle 2), were analyzed using the nonlinear mixed effect model program. A large interindividual variability was observed, with CL varying from 9.1 to 42.51 per hour (mean 21.0). Topotecan CL was related to serum creatinine level, and age. A close relationship was also observed between topotecan CL and creatinine clearance. Intraindividual variability both within cycle 1 and between the two first cycles was limited, with a mean variation of -2+/-17%, and + 5+/-20%, respectively. A limited sampling strategy using Bayesian estimation based on two samples (5 min before the end of the 30-min infusion, and 4 h after the end of infusion) was developed. The results of this study combine relationships between topotecan pharmacokinetic parameters and patient covariates that may be useful for a priori dose adjustment, and convenient sampling procedure that can be used for further studies and drug monitoring.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Population
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Topotecan / pharmacokinetics*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Topotecan