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The protein binding of etoposide was studied in vivo in 36 cancer patients receiving etoposide therapy. Free etoposide was separated from plasma using an ultrafiltration method and the etoposide concentrations (free and total) were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Considerable interpatient variation in the protein binding of etoposide was observed. The protein binding of etoposide varied from 80% to 97% (mean, 93%). Univariate analysis showed a significant inverse correlation between the free fraction of etoposide and serum albumin (r = 0.74), daily dose (r = 0.37) and age (r = -0.34). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that serum albumin and age were independent predictors of the etoposide free fraction. Serum bilirubin showed no correlation with etoposide protein binding. There is wide variation in etoposide protein binding in cancer patients, which is mostly dependent on serum albumin concentration.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Chemother Pharmacol

Publication Date





506 - 512


Administration, Oral, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Analysis of Variance, Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic, Carcinoma, Small Cell, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Drug Administration Schedule, Etoposide, Female, Humans, Infusions, Intravenous, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasms, Ovarian Neoplasms, Protein Binding, Regression Analysis