A new high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method for the determination of sunitinib and N-desethyl sunitinib in human plasma: Light-induced isomerism overtaking towards therapeutic drug monitoring in clinical routine

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Abstract

Sunitinib is approved for advanced renal cell cancer, imatinib-resistant or -intolerant gastrointestinal stromal tumors and pancreatic neuroendocrine cancers. It is prescribed at a fixed dose but its plasma exposure shows large inter-individual variations. Taking into account the narrow therapeutic window and the positive exposure-efficacy relationship, there is a robust rationale for its therapeutic drug monitoring. In fact, a target plasma concentration of sunitinib plus its active metabolite, N-desethyl sunitinib, ≥50 ng/mL was suggested. In order to quantify sunitinib and N-desethyl sunitinib in patients’ plasma, we developed and validated a new LC–MS/MS method applicable to clinical routine. In solution, sunitinib and N-desethyl sunitinib undergo to photo-isomerization and many published methods overcome this problem by conducting the entire procedures of samples collection and handling under strictly light-protection. Our method is based on a simple and fast procedure that quantitatively reconverts the E-isomer of both analytes, obtained during sample draw and processing without light-protection, into their Z-forms. Moreover, our method uses a small plasma volume (30 μL) and the analytes are extracted by a rapid protein precipitation. It was validated according to EMA-FDA guidelines. The calibration curves resulted linear (R2 always >0.993) over the concentration ranges (0.1–500 ng/mL for sunitinib, 0.1–250 ng/mL for N-desethyl sunitinib) with a good precision (within 7.7 % for sunitinib and 10.8% for N- desethyl sunitinib) and accuracy (range 95.8–102.9% for sunitinib and 92.3–106.2% for N-desethyl sunitinib). This method was applied to a pharmacokinetic study in one patient treated with sunitinib. Moreover, as incurred samples reanalysis is an established part of the bioanalytical process to support clinical studies, its assessment was performed early in order to assure that any reproducibility issues was detected as soon as possible. The percentage difference between the two runs resulted within ±20% in all the re-analysed samples for both sunitinib and N- desethyl sunitinib.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112949
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
Volume179
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 5 2020

Keywords

  • LC–MS/MS method
  • Method validation
  • Sunitinib and N-desethyl sunitinib
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring
  • Z-isomers quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Spectroscopy
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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