Pharmacokinetic and toxicity considerations for the use of anthracyclines in ovarian cancer treatment

Matteo Morotti, Mario Valenzano Menada, Pier Luigi Venturini, Simone Ferrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Safe and effective treatments are needed for ovarian cancer. While there are many drugs currently available, there has recently been a renewed novel interest in the use of anthracyclines. Areas covered: This review summarizes the available evidence on pharmacokinetic (PK) and toxicology implications of anthracyclines and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in the clinical management of women with epithelial ovarian cancer. This article consists of material obtained via Medline, PubMed and EMBASE literature searches, up to September 2010. Expert opinion: PLD is a liposomal formulation of doxorubicin (DXR), with a distinct pharmacokinetic profile, characterized by extended circulation time and a reduced clearance and volume of distribution with respect to the free drug. PLD is effective and well tolerated in relapsed ovarian cancer. The toxicity profile of PLD is characterized by dose-limiting mucosal and cutaneous toxicities, mild myelosuppression and decreased cardiotoxicity compared to free DXR. The good response rate, toxicity profile and pharmacokinetic profile of PLD suggest that PLD could be an option in first-line and second-line treatment in ovarian cancer; especially in those who had experienced taxane-induced toxicity or had a poor performance status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-720
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • anthracyclines
  • pegylated liposomal doxorubicin
  • pharmacokinetic
  • toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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