Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Jürgen Venitz

Second Advisor

William D. Figg


The goal of this research work was to understand the clinical-pharmacology based treatment approaches for sorafenib. Treatment with sorafenib is associated with high inter-patient variability in pharmacokinetic exposures, efficacy and toxicity. We explored the demographic, laboratory, clinical and pharmacogenetic factors to elucidate the sources of variability. In addition, we examined the impact of pharmacogenetic variation in VEGFR2, an important mediator of the VEGF pathway, on risk of prostate cancer. To support these investigations, (mainly single-dose) pharmacokinetic, pharmacogenetic, efficacy and toxicity information were collected from patients with solid tumors, enrolled in five phase I / II clinical trials at National Cancer Institute. Non-compartmental analysis-general linear modeling (NCA-GLM), population pharmacokinetic analysis and several correlative studies were performed to characterize the sources of variability in pharmacokinetics and response. The role of prostate specific antigen (PSA) and ex-vivo anti-angiogenic activity as efficacy markers was evaluated, respectively, for patients with prostate cancer treated with sorafenib and patients with solid tumors treated with combination of sorafenib and bevacizumab. Sweat concentrations of sorafenib were measured to study its association with development of hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR). Only body weight was a significant covariate for volume of distribution by population pharmacokinetic analysis, while BSA, albumin and UGT1A9*3 appeared to be significant by NCA-GLM. However, the contribution of these covariates in overall exposure variability was very small; hence, these were considered clinically irrelevant. The association of sorafenib exposure with efficacy in patients with prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and combined solid tumors were not significant; exposure-efficacy relationship for lung cancer patients requires further evaluation. Sorafenib exposures appeared to be associated with incidences of rash in single agent trials and with HFSR in trials involving treatment with sorafenib and bevacizumab combination. In-vitro cell-line experiments determined that prostate specific antigen (PSA) is not a suitable marker of efficacy in patients with prostate cancer treated with sorafenib. The ex-vivo anti-angiogenic activity, measured by rat-aortic ring assay using patient serum samples, appeared to be not associated with clinical response. Sorafenib concentration in sweat, upto ≥5 ng/mL, apparently was not associated with HFSR. The VEGFR2 H472Q polymorphism was associated with progression-free survival (PFS) (with an apparent heterozygous advantage for survival) and toxicities in patients treated with drugs against the VEGF pathway. Patients who developed hypertension and HFSR on bevacizumab and sorafenib therapy, respectively, appeared to have longer PFS. Therefore, these side effects should be effectively managed to avoid/delay the treatment discontinuation. The VEGFR2 H472Q and V297I genotype were not predictive of risk of prostate cancer in Caucasian subjects.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2009