Application of therapeutic drug monitoring of imatinib for individual treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumor
Many molecular target agents are continuously administered at fixed dosages. Imatinib, which can control the growth of a gastrointestinal stromal tumor, is administrated at 400 mg/day. However, many patients cannot continue treatment because of adverse events, such as neutropenia. To obtain the best therapeutic response while maintaining quality of life, individualization should be considered. Study participants were gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients who required treatment with imatinib. Therapeutic drug monitoring was conducted using high-performance liquid chromatography. In our study, the trough (lowest) concentration that a drug reaches before the next dose is administered differed among patients. The grades of adverse events also differed individually. Moreover, the dosage that was necessary to shrink gastrointestinal stromal tumor differed in cases by cases. Dosage was modified according to the balance between blood concentration and therapeutic responses in order to minimize adverse events for individual patients, and to maximize the effect as the responses differed among patients. It was shown that based on therapeutic drug monitoring, individualization enabled the patients who may not normally continue the typical treatment to tolerate imatinib. According to the therapeutic drug monitoring, individualization of dosage of imatinib could improve the patients’ outcomes in both ends, therapeutic and adeverse responses.
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