Pharmacokinetic study of the phase III, randomized, double-blind, multicenter trial (TRIBUTE) of paclitaxel and carboplatin combined with erlotinib or placebo in patients with advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

Invest New Drugs. 2011 Jun;29(3):499-505. doi: 10.1007/s10637-009-9380-z. Epub 2010 Jan 22.


Purpose: To assess the pharmacokinetics and evaluate potential drug-drug interactions between erlotinib, paclitaxel and carboplatin.

Experimental design: 1,079 previously untreated patients with advanced NSCLC were enrolled and randomized in a phase III trial (TRIBUTE) to receive either erlotinib or placebo in combination with paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 IV over 3 h and carboplatin at a calculated dose to achieve an AUC 6 mg∙min/mL. To determine possible drug-drug interaction with this combination, a subset of 24 (12 erlotinib, 12 placebo) patients were enrolled onto an intensive pharmacokinetic (IPK) substudy group at a single site. All IPK patients received either erlotinib 150 mg/day or placebo-controlled tablets. Analyses were completed using validated analytical methodologies. Non-compartmental modeling was utilized to estimate PK parameters.

Results: Complete blood sampling for pharmacokinetic analysis was obtained in 21 of 24 patients. Mean AUC(0-τ) for erlotinib and the OSI-420 metabolite were 29,997 ng∙h/mL and 3,020 ng∙h/mL, respectively. Mean (SD) paclitaxel clearances (L/h/M(2)) were 11.7 (3.4) and 12.7 (6.7) in the placebo and erlotinib treatment groups, respectively. The resultant paclitaxel AUC(0-∞) (ng∙h/mL) was 18,400 (5,300) for the placebo group and 17,800 (5,500) for the erlotinib group. For carboplatin, the mean (SD) clearances (L/h) were 16.8 (3.9) and 16.1 (4.4) for the placebo and erlotinib groups, respectively. The resultant carboplatin AUC(0-∞) (ng/mL∙h) were 49,900 (9,700) for the placebo group and 48,400 (11,900) for the erlotinib group. No significant differences were observed in these paclitaxel or carboplatin pharmacokinetic group comparisons.

Conclusions: The addition of erlotinib to a standard chemotherapy regimen for NSCLC did not alter the systemic exposures (AUC(0-∞)) of paclitaxel (p = 0.80) and carboplatin (p = 0.756) when erlotinib-treated patients were compared to placebo-treated patients. The pharmacokinetics of erlotinib and its metabolite OSI-420 did not appear to be altered by the concomitant administration of paclitaxel and carboplatin.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carboplatin / adverse effects
  • Carboplatin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Carboplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paclitaxel / adverse effects
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacokinetics*
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use*
  • Placebos
  • Quinazolines / administration & dosage
  • Quinazolines / adverse effects
  • Quinazolines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Placebos
  • Quinazolines
  • Carboplatin
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride
  • Paclitaxel