LC–MS/MS assay for the quantitation of the HDAC inhibitor belinostat and five major metabolites in human plasma

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Graphical abstract

Plasma concentrations of belinostat and metabolites in a patient after a 30 min intravenous infusion of 400 mg/m2 belinostat. Belinostat (⋄), belinostat glucuronide (□), methyl belinostat (▵), M21 (×), M24 (+), and M26 (○).

The histone deacetylase inhibitor belinostat is being evaluated clinically as a single agent in the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphomas and in combination with other anticancer agents to treat a wide range of human cancers including acute leukemias and solid tumors. To determine the pharmacokinetics of belinostat in the NCI ODWG liver dysfunction study, we developed and validated an LC–MS/MS assay for the quantitation of belinostat and five major metabolites in 0.05 mL human plasma. After protein precipitation, chromatographic separation was achieved with a Waters Acquity BEH C18 column and a linear gradient of 0.1% formic acid in acetonitrile and water. Detection with an ABI 4000Q mass spectrometer utilized both electrospray positive and negative mode ionization. The assay was linear from 30 to 5000 ng/mL for all six analytes and proved to be accurate (92.0–104.4%) and precise (CV <13.7%), and fulfilled FDA criteria for bioanalytical method validation. We demonstrated the suitability of this assay for measuring parent drug and five major metabolites in plasma from a patient who was administered belinostat IV at a dose of 400 mg/m2. The LC–MS/MS assay that has been developed will be an essential tool to further define the metabolism and pharmacology of belinostat in the ongoing liver organ dysfunction as well as other studies that investigate belinostat with other anticancer agents.

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