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Prevalence of acid-reducing agents (ARA) in cancer populations and ARA drug-drug interaction potential for molecular targeted agents in clinical development.

Smelick GS, Heffron TP, Chu L, Dean B, West DA, Duvall SL, Lum BL, Budha N, Holden SN, Benet LZ, Frymoyer A, Dresser MJ, Ware JA. Prevalence of acid-reducing agents (ARA) in cancer populations and ARA drug-drug interaction potential for molecular targeted agents in clinical development. Molecular pharmaceutics. 2013 Nov 4; 10(11):4055-62.

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Acid-reducing agents (ARAs) are the most commonly prescribed medications in North America and Western Europe. There are currently no data describing the prevalence of their use among cancer patients. However, this is a paramount question due to the potential for significant drug-drug interactions (DDIs) between ARAs, most commonly proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and orally administered cancer therapeutics that display pH-dependent solubility, which may lead to decreased drug absorption and decreased therapeutic benefit. Of recently approved orally administered cancer therapeutics, > 50% are characterized as having pH-dependent solubility, but there are currently no data describing the potential for this ARA-DDI liability among targeted agents currently in clinical development. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the prevalence of ARA use among different cancer populations and (2) investigate the prevalence of orally administered cancer therapeutics currently in development that may be liable for an ARA-DDI. To address the question of ARA use among cancer patients, a retrospective cross-sectional analysis was performed using two large healthcare databases: Thomson Reuters MarketScan (N = 1,776,443) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA, N = 1,171,833). Among all cancer patients, the total prevalence proportion of ARA use (no. of cancer patients receiving an ARA/total no. of cancer patients) was 20% and 33% for the MarketScan and VA databases, respectively. PPIs were the most commonly prescribed agent, comprising 79% and 65% of all cancer patients receiving a prescription for an ARA (no. of cancer patients receiving a PPI /no. of cancer patients receiving an ARA) for the MarketScan and VA databases, respectively. To estimate the ARA-DDI liability of orally administered molecular targeted cancer therapeutics currently in development, two publicly available databases, (1) Kinase SARfari and (2) canSAR, were examined. For those orally administered clinical candidates that had available structures, the pKa's and corresponding relative solubilities were calculated for a normal fasting pH of 1.2 and an "ARA-hypochlorhydric" pH of 4. Taking calculated pKa's and relative solubilities into consideration, clinical candidates were classified based on their risk for an ARA-DDI. More than one-quarter (28%) of the molecules investigated are at high risk for an ARA-DDI, and of those high risk molecules, nearly three-quarters (73%) are being clinically evaluated for at least one of five cancer types with the highest prevalence of ARA use (gastrointestinal, pancreatic, lung, glioblastoma multiforme, gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)). These data strongly suggest that with the clinical development of ARA-DDI-susceptible cancer therapeutics will come continued challenges for drug-development scientists, oncologists, and regulatory agencies in ensuring that patients achieve safe and efficacious exposures of their cancer therapeutics and thus optimal patient outcomes.

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