Target concentration intervention in oncology: where are we at?

Mohamed Saleem, Goce Dimeski, Carl Michael James Kirkpatrick, Paul J Taylor, Jennifer H Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) and more recently target concentration intervention (TCI) have been widely used in clinical practice for the optimization of drug treatment. TDM and TCI have been applied most frequently in the cardiovascular, respiratory, neurology, and infectious disease areas because the medications used here have both narrow therapeutic indices and a clear relationship between concentration and effect. However, apart from drugs such as methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil, the clinical application of TDM/TCI in oncology is minimal. An important reason for this is that a therapeutic index for most anticancer agents has not been established. However, in the last 20 years, relationships between plasma drug concentrations and clinical outcome have been defined for various chemotherapeutic agents. Defining concentration-effect relationships is also complicated by the fact that cancer is almost always treated with multiple drugs given in combination making the precise definition of the pharmacodynamics of individual agents difficult. The increase in patients with obesity and also those underweight adds to the complexity of effective oncology treatment. This review describes some of the evidence that supports the use of TDM/TCI in oncology. It is proposed that as more patients previously ineligible for chemotherapy become eligible, TDM/TCI may play a critical role in optimizing chemotherapy outcomes. However, pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic research to investigate both therapeutic benefit and feasibility in daily clinical practice is required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257 - 265
Number of pages9
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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