Pharmacogenetic profiling across the irinotecan pathway in Asian patients with cancer Academic Article uri icon

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  • AIMS: The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate associations between irinotecan pharmacokinetic parameters and allelic variants in genes encoding for drug transporters and drug metabolizing enzymes that are involved in irinotecan disposition in Asian patients with cancer. METHODS: Irinotecan was administered at 100 mg m(-2) over 90 min on a weekly schedule to 29 nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients and pharmacokinetic analysis was performed during the first cycle. All patients were genotyped for allelic variants in genes encoding drug metabolizing enzymes (CYP3A4, CYP3A5, UGT1A1) and drug transporters (ABCB1, ABCC2 and ABCG2) that are involved in irinotecan disposition. RESULTS: Of the six candidate genes that were analyzed, 11 genetic variants were found. Significant genotypic-phenotypic associations were apparent only for transporter genes. The C(max) of irinotecan was significantly lower in patients carrying the CC genotype at exon 26 of the ABCB1 gene compared with those harbouring at least one variant allele (P = 0.047). Patients harbouring the wild type ABCG2 CTCA genotype were associated with significantly higher values for relative extent of conversion (REC) of irinotecan to SN-38 compared with patients carrying at least one deletion CTCA allele (P = 0.019). CONCLUSIONS: The present exploratory study shows that genetic polymorphisms in drug transporter genes, particularly in ABCB1 and ABCG2 genes, may be important in influencing the pharmacokinetics of irinotecan and its metabolites. The predictive value of the identified allelic variants in the ABCG2 and ABCB1 genes on irinotecan disposition should be further investigated in a larger patient population as well as in other ethnic populations.


  • Zhou, Qi
  • Sparreboom, Alex
  • Tan, Eng-Huat
  • Cheung, Yin-Bun
  • Lee, Ann
  • Poon, Donald
  • Lee, Edmund JD
  • Chowbay, Balram

publication date

  • April 2005

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