Purpose: The primary objective of this study was to investigate the influence of renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of capecitabine and its metabolites in cancer patients. Capecitabine (Xeloda) is an orally administered precursor of 5'-deoxy-5-fluorouridine (5'-DFUR), which is preferentially activated to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in tumors.
Methods: A total of 27 patients were enrolled, of whom 24 were evaluable for pharmacokinetics (6 with normal renal function, 8 with mild, 6 with moderate, and 4 with severe renal impairment at baseline). Patients received capecitabine orally at the standard dosing regimen (1250 mg/m(2) capecitabine twice daily for 2 weeks followed by a 1-week rest period). On study days 1 and 14, blood samples were collected to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of capecitabine and its metabolites. The relationship between the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) and creatinine clearance (CL(CR)) was assessed by log-linear regression analysis.
Results: The primary pharmacokinetic parameter with respect to the effect of renal dysfunction was systemic exposure to 5'-DFUR, 5-FU and FBAL determined on study day 14. Renal impairment led to an increase in the systemic exposure to 5'-DFUR and FBAL (23% and 109% increase in AUC, respectively) for a 50% reduction in CL(CR). By contrast, renal impairment may lead to decreased exposure to 5'-DFCR. There was no evidence for an effect of renal impairment on systemic exposure to 5-FU or capecitabine. Renal impairment did not have a major effect on peak concentration (C(max)) or elimination half-life (t(1/2)) of capecitabine, 5'-DFCR, 5'-DFUR, and 5-FU. However, in the case of FBAL, moderate or severe renal impairment caused up to a twofold increase in C(max) and prolongation of t(1/2). All patients with severe renal impairment (four patients) had drug-related grade 3 or 4 adverse-events (AEs) and serious AEs. Patients with moderate renal impairment experienced a similar number of grade 3 or 4 AEs (six of nine patients) but had a higher incidence of serious AEs (three of nine patients) when compared with those with normal renal function (four of six patients and one of six patients, respectively). A similar effect was seen in patients with mild renal dysfunction (grade 3 or 4 AEs in four of eight patients; serious AEs in three of eight patients). The relationship between systemic exposure to capecitabine or its metabolites and safety was investigated using logistic regression. This exploratory analysis showed a strong positive relationship between AUC of 5'-DFUR and treatment-related grade 3 or 4 AEs, whereas there was no relationship with exposure to capecitabine, 5'-DFCR, 5-FU or FBAL.
Conclusions: Renal impairment has no effect on the pharmacokinetics of capecitabine or 5-FU, but leads to an increase in the systemic exposure to 5'-DFUR and FBAL. However, only the AUC of 5'-DFUR is correlated with safety. Based on the safety results in patients with severe renal impairment, a dose modification cannot be recommended for these patients and they should not be treated with capecitabine. Additional data from the clinical safety database and pharmacokinetic results from the present study support the recommendation that patients with moderate renal impairment should be treated with 75% of the recommended standard starting dose to achieve systemic exposure comparable to that in patients with normal renal function.