Differential effects of hepatic cirrhosis on the intrinsic clearances of sorafenib and imatinib by CYPs in human liver

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Journal Article
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2018, 114 pp. 55 - 63
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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. The tyrosine kinase inhibitors sorafenib and imatinib are important in the treatment of a range of cancers but adverse effects in some patients necessitate dosage modifications. CYP3A4 has a major role in the oxidation of sorafenib to its N-oxide and N-hydroxymethyl metabolites and also acts in concert with CYP2C8 to mediate imatinib N-demethylation. CYP3A4 expression and function are impaired in patients with advanced liver disease, whereas the functions of CYP2C enzymes are relatively preserved. We evaluated the biotransformation of sorafenib and imatinib in well-characterized microsomal fractions from 17 control subjects and 19 individuals with hepatic cirrhosis of varying severity. The principal findings were that liver disease impaired the microsomal oxidation of sorafenib to its major metabolites to 40–44% of control (P < 0.01), whereas the N-demethylation of imatinib was relatively unimpaired. The impairments in sorafenib biotransformation were correlated with decreased serum albumin concentrations and increased serum bilirubin concentrations in patients with liver disease, but not with the overall grade of liver disease according to the Child-Pugh system. In contrast, there was no relationship between imatinib N-demethylation and clinicopathologic factors in liver disease patients. These findings were accounted for in terms of the differential roles of CYPs 3A4 and 2C8 in the intrinsic clearance of the drugs. CYP3A4 has the major role in the intrinsic clearance of sorafenib but plays a secondary role to CYP2C8 in the intrinsic clearance of imatinib. In agreement with these findings CYP2C protein expression and CYP2C8-mediated paclitaxel 6α-hydroxylation were unimpaired in cirrhotic livers. This information could be adapted in individualized approaches such as in vivo CYP3A4 phenotyping to optimize sorafenib safety and efficacy in cancer patients with liver dysfunction.
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