High-throughput quantification of the anti-leukemia drug STI571 (Gleevec) and its main metabolite (CGP 74588) in human plasma using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2002 Mar 5;768(2):325-40. doi: 10.1016/s1570-0232(01)00611-0.


The signal transduction inhibitor STI571 (formerly known as CGP 57148B) or Gleevec received fast track approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). STI571 is a revolutionary and promising new oral therapy for CML, which functions at the molecular level with high specificity. The dramatic improvement in efficacy compared to existing treatments prompted an equally profound increase in the pace of development of Gleevec. The duration from first dose in man to completion of the New Drug Application (NDA) filing was approximately 2.6 years. In order to support all pharmacokinetics studies with sufficient speed to meet various target dates, a semi-automated procedure using protein precipitation was developed and validated. A Tomtec Quadra 96 (Model 320) and a protein precipitation step in a 96-well plate format were utilized. A Sciex API 3000 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer with an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization interface operated in positive ion mode was used for detection. The method proved to be rugged and allowed the simultaneous quantification of STI571 and its main metabolite (CGP 74588) in human plasma. Herein, assay development, validation, and representative concentration-time profiles obtained from clinical studies are presented.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / blood*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Benzamides
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Humans
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Piperazines / blood*
  • Piperazines / pharmacokinetics
  • Pyrimidines / blood*
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacokinetics
  • Reference Standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzamides
  • CGP 74588
  • Piperazines
  • Pyrimidines
  • Imatinib Mesylate