Mining Small Routine Clinical Data: A Population Pharmacokinetic Model and Optimal Sampling Times of Capecitabine and its Metabolites


  • Esther Oyaga-Iriarte Pharmamodelling SL, Pamplona, Spain.
  • Asier Insausti Pharmamodelling SL, Pamplona, Spain
  • Lorea Bueno Pharmamodelling SL, Pamplona, Spain
  • Onintza Sayar Pharmamodelling SL, Pamplona, Spain
  • Azucena Aldaz Service of Hospital Pharmacy, Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Pio XII 36, Pamplona, Spain.



Purpose: The present study was performed to demonstrate that small amounts of routine clinical data allow to generate valuable knowledge. Concretely, the aims of this research were to build a joint population pharmacokinetic model for capecitabine and three of its metabolites (5-DFUR, 5-FU and 5-FUH2) and to determine optimal sampling times for therapeutic drug monitoring. Methods: We used data of 7 treatment cycles of capecitabine in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The population pharmacokinetic model was built as a multicompartmental model using NONMEM and was internally validated by visual predictive check. Optimal sampling times were estimated using PFIM 4.0 following D-optimality criterion. Results: The final model was a multicompartmental model which represented the sequential transformations from capecitabine to its metabolites 5-DFUR, 5-FU and 5-FUH2 and was correctly validated. The optimal sampling times were 0.546, 0.892, 1.562, 4.736 and 8 hours after the administration of the drug. For its correct implementation in clinical practice, the values were rounded to 0.5, 1, 1.5, 5 and 8 hours after the administration of the drug. Conclusions: Capecitabine, 5-DFUR, 5-FU and 5-FUH2 can be correctly described by the joint multicompartmental model presented in this work. The aforementioned times are optimal to maximize the information of samples. Useful knowledge can be obtained for clinical practice from small databases.


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How to Cite

Oyaga-Iriarte, E., Insausti, A., Bueno, L., Sayar, O., & Aldaz, A. (2019). Mining Small Routine Clinical Data: A Population Pharmacokinetic Model and Optimal Sampling Times of Capecitabine and its Metabolites. Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, 22(1), 112–121.



Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics