Thiopurine methyl-transferase activity and azathioprine metabolite concentrations do not predict clinical outcome in thiopurine-treated inflammatory bowel disease patients.
ABSTRACT Low thiopurine-methyl-transferase (TPMT) activity and high 6-thioguanine-nucleotide (6TGN) concentrations have been linked to therapeutic success in inflammatory bowel disease patients treated with thiopurines; however, this has not been implemented in clinical practice.
To identify a therapeutic threshold value for TPMT or 6TGN concentrations, and their capability to predict treatment safety and efficacy.
Prospective multicentre study including steroid-resistant/dependent patients starting thiopurines. The TPMT activity was determined at inclusion (>5 U/mL required). Azathioprine metabolites [6TGN, 6-methyl-mercaptopurine ribonucleotides (6MMP), and 6TGN/6MMP and 6TGN/TPMT ratios] were periodically monitored during steroid tapering and after withdrawal for 6 months or until a new flare occurred.
A total of 113 patients were analysed (62% clinical response). Areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) relating clinical response and metabolite levels at 2, 4 and 6 months after steroid withdrawal were less than 0.7. The AUCs relating final response and initial TPMT activity or metabolite concentrations at 2, 4, 8 and 16 weeks after starting thiopurines were less than 0.7. No cut-off point with worthwhile sensitivity/specificity was found. Eight (7%) patients developed thiopurine-related toxicity that could not be linked to TPMT activity or 6TGN levels.
Our results do not support determination of TPMT activity or 6TGN concentrations to predict treatment outcome, and no useful serum metabolites threshold value to adjust the drug's dose was identified.
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ABSTRACT: Thiopurines are widely used for maintenance treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Inter-individual variability in clinical response to thiopurines may be attributed to several factors including genetic polymorphisms, severity and chronicity of disease, comorbidities, duration of administration, compliance issues and use of concomitant medication, environmental factors and clinician and patient preferences. The purpose of this review is to summarise the current evidence on thiopurine safety and toxicity, to describe adverse drug events and emphasise the significance of drug interactions, and to discuss the relative safety of thiopurine use in adults, elderly patients, children and pregnant women. Thiopurines are safe to use and well tolerated, however dose adjustment or discontinuation of treatment must be considered in cases of non-response, poor compliance or toxicity. Drug safety, clinical response to treatment and short to long term risks and benefits must be balanced throughout treatment duration for different categories of patients. Treatment should be individualised and stratified according to patient requirements. Enzymatic testing prior to treatment commencement is advised. Surveillance with regular clinic follow-up and monitoring of laboratory markers is important. Data on long term efficacy, safety of thiopurine use and interaction with other disease modifying drugs are lacking, especially in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease. High quality, collaborative clinical research is required so as to inform clinical practice in the future.World journal of gastrointestinal pharmacology and therapeutics. 05/2014; 5(2):63-76.
- Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 03/2014; 39(6):642. · 4.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Thiopurines are the mainstay of medical management in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), especially in the maintenance of disease remission. Given the limited IBD armamentarium it is important to optimize each therapy before switching to an alternative drug. Conventional weight based dosing of thiopurines in IBD leads to intolerance or inefficacy in many patients. More recently increased knowledge of their metabolism has allowed for dose optimization using thiopurine metabolite levels, namely 6-thioguanine nucleotides and 6-methylmercaptopurine, with the potential for improved outcomes in patients with IBD. This review will outline the current understanding of thiopurine metabolism and pharmacogenomics and will describe the clinical application of this knowledge in the optimization of thiopurines in individual patients.Expert review of gastroenterology & hepatology 03/2014;