Therapeutic drug monitoring of busulfan in patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation: A pilot single-center study in taiwan

Rong Long Chen, Li Hua Fang, Xin Yi Yang, Mohsin El Amrani, Esther Veronique Uijtendaal, Yen Fu Chen, Wei Chi Ku*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Busulfan has been used as a conditioning regimen in allogeneic hematopoietic cell stem transplantation (HSCT). Owing to a large inter-individual variation in pharmacokinetics, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM)-guided busulfan dosing is necessary to reduce graft failure and relapse rate. As there exists no TDM of busulfan administration for HCT in Taiwan, we conducted a pilot study to assess the TDM-dosing of busulfan in the Taiwanese population; Seven patients with HCT from The Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center, Taipei, Taiwan, received conditioning regimens consisting of intravenous busulfan and other chemotherapies. After the initial busulfan dose, blood samples were collected for busulfan TDM at 5 min, 1 h, 2 h, and 3 h. Busulfan was extracted and detected by performing stable-isotope dilution LC–MS/MS. Plasma busulfan concentration was quantified and used for dose adjustment. Potential adverse effects of busulfan, such as mucositis and hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD), were also evaluated; The LC–MS/MS method was validated with an analyte recovery of 88–99%, within-run and between-run precision of <15%, and linearity ranging from 10 to 10,000 ng/mL. Using TDM-guided busulfan dosing, dose adjustment was necessary and performed in six out of seven patients (86%) with successful engraftments in all patients (100%). Mild mucositis was observed, and VOD was diagnosed in only one patient; This single-center study in Taiwan demonstrated the importance of busulfan TDM in increasing the success rate of HCT transplantation. It is also necessary to further investigate the optimal busulfan target value in the Taiwanese population in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number613
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2021


  • Busulfan
  • Hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring


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