Physiologically based pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling in cancer drug development: status, potential and gaps

Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2015 May;11(5):743-56. doi: 10.1517/17425255.2015.1037276.


Introduction: Modeling and simulation have become important means of answering questions relevant to the development of a drug, making it possible to assess risks early and to reduce costs. Physiologically based pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PBPK/PD) models contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the drug, covering specific questions from early discovery through lifecycle management stages. As for other disease areas, in oncology, PBPK and PD models are important topics that remain to be addressed.

Areas covered: This review describes current PBPK and PD approaches, their applicability in drug development in general and specifically in the area of oncology. It discusses the current status and then focuses on key challenges and the potential for future use. It provides cases in which modeling currently cannot answer the questions and assesses the requirements to close gaps for PBPK/PD in oncology.

Expert opinion: PBPK/PD models have led to improvements in identifying risks and reducing costs during the drug development process. Nevertheless, there is a lot of potential, where more rigorous integration of biological knowledge and specific experimental design would result in a more comprehensive biological picture. Ideally, such approaches would reveal the extent to which preclinical work can be extrapolated to clinical settings, thus enabling reliable prediction and, ultimately, reducing failed trials in clinical oncology.

Keywords: mechanistic modeling; oncology; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; pharmacometrics; physiologically based modeling; systems biology; systems pharmacology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents