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Ther Drug Monit. 2013 Dec;35(6):803-8. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e31829617ea.

An automated nanoparticle-based homogeneous immunoassay for determining docetaxel concentrations in plasma.

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  • 1*Saladax Biomedical, Inc, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and †FALCO Biosystems Ltd, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.



Docetaxel (Taxotere) (DTX) is a widely used chemotherapy agent used in many regimens for the treatment of solid tumors, for example breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, gastric, prostate, and head and neck cancers. This drug meets the criteria for therapeutic dose management, in that it is associated with high pharmacokinetic variability and dose-limiting toxicity; it has a narrow therapeutic window, and there is a significant pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationship. Measures of exposure and area under the time-concentration curve have been associated with both toxicity and outcomes, making therapeutic dose management for this drug an unmet clinical need. The current methodologies for measuring DTX are based on physical methods, making the analysis less available and costly. An automated immunoassay has been developed to provide greater access to DTX dose management.


A DTX immunoassay (MyDocetaxel) has been developed using a generic nanoparticle turbidimetric method that can be used on a wide variety of automated clinical chemistry analyzers including the Beckman Coulter AU400 and AU640 instruments, which were used in this study. The assay is based on a competitive assay format using a selective DTX monoclonal antibody. Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute protocols for establishing manufacturer's claims were used to verify performance. Testing at 3 clinical laboratories was undertaken using the same protocols for laboratory validation of precision, accuracy, and linearity. Method comparison (n = 89) was done using samples collected from patients on DTX therapy. The comparative method was LC-MS/MS validated according to Food and Drug Administration guidance on bioanalytical methods. Institutional review board approval was obtained for prospective collection of samples from patients on DTX therapy.


The assay on the AU400 uses 2 μL of sample, provides the first result in 9.0 minutes and can generate 400 determinations per hour. Internal studies established a lower limit of detection ≤25 ng/mL and a lower limit of quantitation ≤30 ng/mL. Additional studies demonstrated no interference from coadministered drugs, major metabolites, or related compounds. Linearity from 50 to 1000 ng/mL was validated. Method comparisons between laboratories and to the physical method gave slopes: 1 ± 0.5, intercepts: < 2.0 ng/mL, R > 0.99, with the range of DTX concentrations measured by the assay 31-9754 ng/mL, with a mean of 689 ng/mL. In all 3 laboratories, the coefficient of variation percentage for repeatability ranged from 0.8% to 6.2% and the within-laboratory precision ranged from 1.4% to 10.1%.


This immunoassay is suitable for quantifying DTX in plasma with advantages of small sample size, no sample pretreatment, and the ability to be applied to a wide range of clinical analyzers. With the validation of this method, the application of DTX testing in clinical practice may gain wider acceptance for individualizing patient DTX dosing.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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