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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2006 Nov 15;63(22):2211-7.

Pharmacogenetics and irinotecan therapy.

Author information

1
University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center (UWCCC), Madison, WI 53705, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Irinotecan metabolism, irinotecan pharmacogenetic research, and the role of genetic testing before administration of the drug are reviewed.

SUMMARY:

Irinotecan is approved worldwide for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer but causes dose-limiting neutropenia and diarrhea. When severe, these can lead to dehydration, infection, patient discomfort, additional medication requirements, hospitalization, and death. The identification of predictive markers in irinotecan therapy has been a significant goal of pharmacogenetic research. The labeling of irinotecan was recently changed and now includes a warning of greater neutropenia risk in patients with reduced activity in the drug-metabolizing enzyme uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 (UGT1A1). A known marker of reduced UGT1A1 activity is the genetic variant UGT1A1*28. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effects of genetic factors, especially UGT1A1*28, that contribute to interpatient variability in irinotecan pharmacokinetics and toxicity. Irinotecan's new labeling recommends that clinicians consider reducing the dosage of irinotecan in patients homozygous for UGT1A1*28.

CONCLUSION:

At least part of the interpatient variability of irinotecan toxicity can be explained by the UGT1A1*28 polymorphism. Patients who are homozygous for the UGT1A1*28 allele have an increased risk of developing severe neutropenia when receiving irinotecan, especially the 300-350- mg/m2 regimen. A molecular assay is now available to identify the at-risk subgroup and should be used by health care professionals to help guide irinotecan-treatment decisions.

Comment in

PMID:
17090741
DOI:
10.2146/ajhp060155
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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