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Publication in Cancer Chemother Pharmacol supported by DDMoRe

Predictive pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling of tumor growth after administration of an anti-angiogenic agent, bevacizumab, as single-agent and combination therapy in tumor xenografts. 

Maurizio Rocchetti, Massimiliano Germani, Francesca Del Bene, Italo Poggesi, Paolo Magni, Enrico Pesenti and Giuseppe De Nicolao. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2013 71: 1147 - 1157


Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) models able to predict the action of anticancer compounds in tumor xenografts have an important impact on drug development. In case of anti-angiogenic compounds, many of the available models show difficulties in their applications, as they are based on a cell kill hypothesis, while these drugs act on the tumor vascularization, without a direct tumor cell kill effect. For this reason, a PK-PD model able to describe the tumor growth modulation following treatment with a cytostatic therapy, as opposed to a cytotoxic treatment, is proposed here. Untreated tumor growth was described using an exponential growth phase followed by a linear one. The effect of anti-angiogenic compounds was implemented using an inhibitory effect on the growth function. The model was tested on a number of experiments in tumor-bearing mice given the anti-angiogenic drug bevacizumab either alone or in combination with another investigational compound. Nonlinear regression techniques were used for estimating the model parameters. The model successfully captured the tumor growth data following different bevacizumab dosing regimens, allowing to estimate experiment-independent parameters. A combination model was also developed under a 'no-interaction' assumption to assess the effect of the combination of bevacizumab with a target-oriented agent. The observation of a significant difference between model-predicted and observed tumor growth curves was suggestive of the presence of a pharmacological interaction that was further accommodated into the model. This approach can be used for optimizing the design of preclinical experiments. With all the inherent limitations, the estimated experiment-independent model parameters can be used to provide useful indications for the single-agent and combination regimens to be explored in the subsequent development phases.

Work package: 

Associated members

Giuseppe De Nicolao's picture
Giuseppe De Nicolao
Universita' degli Studi di Pavia
Paolo Magni's picture
Paolo Magni
Universita' degli Studi di Pavia
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