Population pharmacokinetics of intravenous erwinia asparaginase in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients

Sebastiaan D.T. Sassen, Ron A.A. Mathôt, Rob Pieters, Robin Q.H. Kloos, Valérie de Haas, Gertjan J.L. Kaspers, Cor van den Bos, Wim J.E. Tissing, Maroeska te Loo, Marc B. Bierings, Wouter J.W. Kollen, Christian M. Zwaan, Inge M. van der Sluis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Erwinia asparaginase is an important component in the treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A large variability in serum concentrations has been observed after intravenous Erwinia asparaginase. Currently, Dutch Childhood Oncology Group protocols dose alterations are based on trough concentrations to ensure adequate asparaginase activity (≥100 IU/L). The aim of this study was to describe the population pharmacokinetics of intravenous Erwinia asparaginase to quantify and gather insight into inter-individual and inter-occasion variability. The starting dose was evaluated on the basis of the derived population pharmacokinetic parameters. In a multicenter prospective observational study, a total of 714 blood samples were collected from 51 children (age 1-17 years) with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The starting dose was 20,000 IU/m2 three times a week and adjusted according to trough levels from week three onwards. A population pharmacokinetic model was developed using NONMEM®. A 2-compartment linear model with allometric scaling best described the data. Inter-individual and interoccasion variability of clearance were 33% and 13%, respectively. Clearance in the first month of treatment was 14% higher (P<0.01). Monte Carlo simulations with our pharmacokinetic model demonstrated that patients with a low weight might require higher doses to achieve similar concentrations compared to patients with high weight. The current starting dose of 20,000 IU/m2 might result in inadequate concentrations, especially for smaller, lower weight patients, hence dose adjustments based on individual clearance are recommended. The protocols were approved by the institutional review boards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-561
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2017

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