A simple and sensitive assay for the quantitative analysis of paclitaxel and metabolites in human plasma using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry

Biomed Chromatogr. 2006 Jan;20(1):139-48. doi: 10.1002/bmc.544.


A sensitive and specific LC-MS/MS assay for the determination of paclitaxel and its 3'p- and 6-alpha-hydroxy metabolites is presented. A 200 microL plasma aliquot was spiked with a 13C6-labeled paclitaxel internal standard and extracted with 1.0 mL tert-butylmethylether. Dried extracts were reconstituted in 0.1 M ammonium acetate-acetonitrile (1:1, v/v) and 25 microL volumes were injected onto the HPLC system. Separation was performed on a 150 x 2.1 mm C18 column using an alkaline eluent (10 mm ammonium hydroxide-methanol, 30:70, v/v). Detection was performed by positive ion electrospray followed by tandem mass spectrometry. The assay quantifies a range for paclitaxel from 0.25 to 1000 ng/mL and metabolites from 0.25 to 100 ng/mL using 200 microL human plasma samples. Validation results demonstrate that paclitaxel and metabolite concentrations can be accurately and precisely quantified in human plasma. This assay is now used to support clinical pharmacologic studies with paclitaxel.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / blood*
  • Calibration
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Humans
  • Paclitaxel / blood*
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Paclitaxel