Population Pharmacokinetic Model of Intravenous Busulfan in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Systematic Review and Comparative Simulations

Takuto Takahashi, Mu'taz Jaber, Sarah J. Brown, Mahmoud Al-Kofahi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Busulfan is commonly used in the chemotherapy prior to hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Busulfan has a narrow therapeutic window and a well-established exposure–response relationship with important clinical outcomes. Model-informed precision dosing (MIPD) based on population pharmacokinetic (popPK) models has been implemented in the clinical settings. We aimed to systematically review existing literature on popPK models of intravenous busulfan. Methods: We systematically searched Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science databases from inception to December 2022 to identify original popPK models (nonlinear mixed-effect modeling) of intravenous busulfan in HCT population. Model-predicted busulfan clearance (CL) was compared using US population data. Results: Of the 44 eligible popPK studies published since 2002, 68% were developed predominantly in children, 20% in adults, and 11% in both children and adults. The majority of the models were described using first-order elimination or time-varying CL (69% and 26%, respectively). All but three included a body-size descriptor (e.g., body weight, body surface area). Other commonly included covariates were age (30%) and GSTA1 variant (15%). Median between-subject and between-occasion variabilities of CL were 20% and 11%, respectively. Between-model variabilities in predicted median CL were < 20% in all of the weight tiers (10–110 kg) in the simulation based on US population data. Conclusion: Busulfan PK is commonly described using a first-order elimination or time-varying CL. A simple model with limited covariates were generally sufficient to attain relatively small unexplained variabilities. However, therapeutic drug monitoring may still be necessary to attain a narrow target exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-968
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Pharmacokinetics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Systematic Review


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