Publications : 2019

Starling BR, Kumar P, Lucas AT, Barroa D, Farnan L, Hendrix L, Giovinazzo H, Song G, Gehrig P, Benson J, Zamboni WC. 2019. Mononuclear phagocyte system function and nanoparticle pharmacology in obese and normal weight ovarian and endometrial cancer patients. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 83(1):61–70.



Obesity may alter mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) function and the pharmacology and efficacy of nanoparticles therapies, such as PEGylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD). We aimed to evaluate the relationships between hormone and chemokine mediators of MPS function and the pharmacokinetic (PK) exposure of PLD in obese and normal weight patients with ovarian and endometrial cancer.


Hormone and chemokine mediators in obese and normal weight ovarian and endometrial cancer patients were measured. A separate pharmacology study was performed that evaluated the relationship between serum hormone concentrations, MPS function, and PK disposition of PLD in refractory ovarian cancer patients.


Univariate analysis revealed a significant relationship between serum estradiol and body mass index (OR 8.64, 95% CI 2.67–28.0, p < 0.001). Estrone and testosterone concentrations were positively correlated with MPS function (ρ = 0.57 and 0.53, p = 0.14 and 0.18, respectively) and inversely correlated with PLD PK exposure (ρ = − 0.75 and − 0.76, respectively, p = 0.02 for both).


Higher MPS function resulting in reduced PLD exposure is a potential mechanism for reduced efficacy of PLD and other nanoparticles observed in obese patients with cancer. PK simulations suggest higher doses of PLD are required in obese patients to achieve similar exposures as standard dosing in normal weight patients.