Determination of voriconazole and co-administered drugs in plasma of pediatric cancer patients using UPLC-MS/MS: A key step towards personalized therapeutics.

Al-Ghobashy, M. A., S. M. Kamal, G. M. El-Sayed, A. K. Attia, M. Nagy, A. ElZeiny, M. T. Elrakaiby, M. M. Nooh, M. Abbassi, and R. K. Aziz, "Determination of voriconazole and co-administered drugs in plasma of pediatric cancer patients using UPLC-MS/MS: A key step towards personalized therapeutics.", Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences, vol. 1092, pp. 489-498, 2018 Aug 15.


Untreated invasive aspergillosis results in high mortality rate in pediatric cancer patients. Voriconazole (VORI), the first line of treatment, requires strict dose monitoring because of its narrow therapeutic index and individual variation in plasma concentration levels. Commonly co-administered drugs; either Esomeprazole (ESO) or Ondansetron (OND) have reported drug-drug interaction with VORI that should adversely alter therapeutic outcomes of the latter. Although VORI, ESO and OND are co-administered to pediatric cancer patients, the combined effect of ESO and OND on the plasma concentration levels of VORI has not been fully explored. In this study, an accurate, reliable and sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) assay was developed and validated for simultaneous determination of VORI, ESO, and OND in ultra-low sample volumes (25 μL) of plasma of pediatric cancer patients. Based on the physicochemical properties of the studied drugs and internal standard, liquid-liquid extraction was successfully adopted with methyl t-butyl ether. Consistent and reproducible recovery of the three drugs and the internal standard were calculated using plasma and matrix matched samples (RE% > 72.97%, RSD < 8.29%). Chromatographic separation was carried out using UPLC with C18 column and a mobile phase of acetonitrile:water:methanol (70:25:5 V/V/V) at 0.3 mL/min. Mass spectrometric determination at positive electrospray ionization in the MRM mode was employed. The analysis was achieved within 4 min over a linear concentration range of 1.00-200.00 ng/mL for the three drugs. The assay validity was assessed as per the Food and Drug Administration guidelines for bioanalytical method validation, and satisfactory results were obtained. The accuracy and precision were within the acceptable limits for the three drugs in both quality control and incurred plasma samples. Matrix effect and process efficiency were investigated in neat solvent, post-extraction matrix, and plasma. Correlation of the plasma concentration levels of the three drugs revealed differences from the reported drug-drug interactions. This confirmed the need for simultaneous determination of VORI and co-administered drugs in order to achieve optimal therapeutic outcomes. To achieve this, analysis results of this study, genetic polymorphisms in CYP2C19 and clinical data will be used to establish one model incorporating all possible factors that might lead to variation in therapeutic outcomes.