Dose banding as an alternative to body surface area-based dosing of chemotherapeutic agents

Br J Cancer. 2012 Sep 25;107(7):1100-6. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2012.357. Epub 2012 Aug 28.


Background: Dose banding is a recently suggested dosing method that uses predefined ranges (bands) of body surface area (BSA) to calculate each patient's dose by using a single BSA-value per band. Thus, drugs with sufficient long-term stability can be prepared in advance. The main advantages of dose banding are to reduce patient waiting time and improve pharmacy capacity planning; additional benefits include reduced medication errors, reduced drug wastage, and prospective quality control. This study compares dose banding with individual BSA dosing and fixed dose according to pharmacokinetic criteria.

Methods: Three BSA bands were defined: BSA<1.7 m(2), 1.7 m(2)≤ BSA<1.9 m(2), BSA ≥ 1.9 m(2) and each patient dose was calculated based on a unique BSA-value per band (1.55, 1.80, and 2.05 m(2), respectively). By using individual clearance values of six drugs (cisplatin, docetaxel, paclitaxel, doxorubicin, irinotecan, and topotecan) from 1012 adult cancer patients in total, the AUCs corresponding to three dosing methods (BSA dosing, dose banding, and fixed dose) were compared with a target AUC for each drug.

Results: For all six drugs, the per cent variation in individual dose obtained with dose banding compared with BSA dosing ranged between -14% and +22%, and distribution of AUC values was very similar with both dosing methods. In terms of reaching the target AUC, there was no significant difference in precision between dose banding and BSA dosing, except for paclitaxel (32.0% vs 30.7%, respectively; P<0.05). However, precision was significantly better for BSA dosing compared with fixed dose for four out of six drugs.

Conclusion: For the studied drugs, implementation of dose banding should be considered as it entails no significant increase in interindividual plasma exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Body Surface Area
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents