The Challenging Pharmacokinetics of Mitotane : An Old Drug in Need of New Packaging

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Haider , M S , Ahmad , T , Groll , J , Scherf-Clavel , O , Kroiss , M & Luxenhofer , R 2021 , ' The Challenging Pharmacokinetics of Mitotane : An Old Drug in Need of New Packaging ' , European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics , vol. 46 , pp. 575-593 .

Title: The Challenging Pharmacokinetics of Mitotane : An Old Drug in Need of New Packaging
Author: Haider, Malik Salman; Ahmad, Taufiq; Groll, Juergen; Scherf-Clavel, Oliver; Kroiss, Matthias; Luxenhofer, Robert
Contributor organization: Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Department of Chemistry
Date: 2021-09
Language: eng
Number of pages: 19
Belongs to series: European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics
ISSN: 0378-7966
Abstract: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a malignant tumor originating from the adrenal gland cortex with a heterogeneous but overall dismal prognosis in advanced stages. For more than 50 years, mitotane has remained a cornerstone for the treatment of ACC as adjuvant and palliative therapy. It has a very poor aqueous solubility of 0.1 mg/l and high partition coefficient in octanol/water (log P) value of 6. The commercially available dosage form is 500 mg tablets (Lysodren(R)). Even at doses up to 6 g/day (12 tablets in divided doses) for several months, > 50% patients do not achieve therapeutic plasma concentration > 14 mg/l due to poor water solubility, large volume of distribution and inter/intra-individual variability in bioavailability. This article aims to give a concise update of the clinical challenges associated with the administration of high-dose mitotane oral therapy which encompass the issues of poor bioavailability, difficult-to-predict pharmacokinetics and associated adverse events. Moreover, we present recent efforts to improve mitotane formulations. Their success has been limited, and we therefore propose an injectable mitotane formulation instead of oral administration, which could bypass many of the main issues associated with high-dose oral mitotane therapy. A parenteral administration of mitotane could not only help to alleviate the adverse effects but also circumvent the variable oral absorption, give better control over therapeutic plasma mitotane concentration and potentially shorten the time to achieve therapeutic drug plasma concentrations considerably. Plain Language summary Mitotane as tablet form is currently the standard treatment for adrenocortical carcinoma. It has been used for 5 decades but suffers from highly variable responses in patients, subsequent adverse effects and overall lower response rate. This can be fundamentally linked to the exceedingly poor water solubility of mitotane itself. In terms of enhancing water solubility, a few research groups have attempted to develop better formulations of mitotane to overcome the issues associated with tablet dosage form. However, the success rate was limited, and these formulations did not make it into the clinics. In this article, we have comprehensively reviewed the properties of these formulations and discuss the reasons for their limited utility. Furthermore, we discuss a recently developed mitotane nanoformulation that led us to propose a novel approach to mitotane therapy, where intravenous delivery supplements the standard oral administration. With this article, we combine the current state of knowledge as a single piece of information about the various problems associated with the use of mitotane tablets, and herein we postulate the development of a new injectable mitotane formulation, which can potentially circumvent the major problems associated to mitotane's poor water solubility.
Subject: 116 Chemical sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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