center dot In vitro studies show that daunorubicin (DNR) cytotoxicity decreases with increasing cell density because of a high cellular uptake and depletion of drug in the medium.
center dot It is not known whether such an effect also occurs in vivo.
WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS
center dot We have shown that a large leukaemic cell burden lowers the plasma concentration of DNR in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia.
center dot Our analysis supports that a large leukaemic cell burden increases the central volume of distribution for DNR.
center dot Our study indicates that a dose adjustment of DNR may be of importance in acute myeloid leukaemia patients with high white blood cell counts.
It has been shown that the cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of anthracyclines decrease with increasing cell density in vitro, an event termed 'the inocculum effect'. It is not known whether such an effect occurs in vivo. In this study the relationships between white blood cell (WBC) count, plasma and cellular concentrations of daunorubicin (DNR) in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia were investigated.
Plasma and mononuclear blood cells were isolated from peripheral blood from 40 patients with acute myeloid leukaemia at end of infusion (time 1 h), 5 and 24 h following the first DNR infusion. DNR concentrations were determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography and related to the WBC count at diagnosis. A population pharmacokinetic model was used to estimate the correlations between baseline WBC count, volume of distribution and clearance of DNR.
A clear but weak inverse relationship between the baseline WBC count and plasma concentrations of DNR (r2 = 0.11, P < 0.05) at time 1 was found. Furthermore, a clear relationship between baseline WBC count and DNR central volume of distribution using population pharmacokinetic modelling (dOFV 4.77, P < 0.05) was also noted. Analysis of plasma DNR and the metabolite daunorubicinol (DOL) concentrations in patients with a high WBC count support that the low DNR/DOL concentrations are due a distribution effect.
This study shows that the leukaemic cell burden influences the plasma concentrations of anthracyclines. Further studies are needed to explore if patients with high a WBC count may require higher doses of anthracyclines.
2011. Vol. 71, no 4, 514-521 p.
acute myeloid leukaemia, anthracycline, daunorubicin, pharmacokinetics, plasma, tumour burden