Barriers and opportunities for the clinical implementation of therapeutic drug monitoring in oncology

Bradley Menz, Sophie Stocker, Nick Verougstraete, Danijela Kocic, Peter Galettis, Christophe Stove, Stephanie Reuter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


There are few fields of medicine in which the individualisation of medicines is more important than in the area of oncology. Under-dosing can have significant ramifications due to the potential for therapeutic failure and cancer progression; by contrast, over-dosing may lead to severe treatment-limiting side effects, such as agranulocytosis and neutropenia. Both circumstances lead to poor patient prognosis and contribute to the high mortality rates still seen in oncology. The concept of dose individualisation tailors dosing for each individual patient to ensure optimal drug exposure and best clinical outcomes. While the value of this strategy is well recognised, it has seen little translation to clinical application. However, it is important to recognise that the clinical setting of oncology is unlike that for which therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is currently the cornerstone of therapy (e.g. antimicrobials). Whilst there is much to learn from these established TDM settings, the challenges presented in the treatment of cancer must be considered to ensure the implementation of TDM in clinical practice. Recent advancements in a range of scientific disciplines have the capacity to address the current system limitations and significantly enhance the use of anticancer medicines to improve patient health. This review examines opportunities presented by these innovative scientific methodologies, specifically sampling strategies, bioanalytics and dosing decision support, to enable optimal practice and facilitate the clinical implementation of TDM in oncology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • anticancer drugs
  • bioanalysis
  • pharmacometrics
  • therapeutic drug monitoring
  • translational research


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