Current use and future potential of (physiologically based) pharmacokinetic modelling of radiopharmaceuticals: a review

Hinke Siebinga, Berlinda J. de Wit-Van der Veen, Marcel D.M. Stokkel, Alwin D.R. Huitema, Jeroen J.M.A. Hendrikx

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) and population pharmacokinetic (PK) modelling approaches are widely accepted in non-radiopharmaceutical drug development and research, while there is no major role for these approaches in radiopharmaceutical development yet. In this review, a literature search was performed to specify different research purposes and questions that have previously been answered using both PBPK and population PK modelling for radiopharmaceuticals. Methods: The literature search was performed using the databases PubMed and Embase. Wide search terms included radiopharmaceutical, tracer, radioactivity, physiologically based pharmacokinetic model, PBPK, population pharmacokinetic model and nonlinear mixed-effects model. Results: Eight articles and twenty articles were included for this review based on this literature search for population PK modelling and PBPK modelling, respectively. Included population PK analyses showed to have an added value to develop predictive models for a population and to describe individual variability sources. Main purposes of PBPK models appeared related to optimizing treatment (planning), or more specifically: to find the optimal combination of peptide amount and radioactivity, to optimize treatment planning by reducing the number of measurements, to individualize treatment, to get insights in differences between pre-therapeutic and therapeutic scans or to understand inter-patient differences. Other main research subjects were regarding radiopharmaceutical comparisons, selecting ligands based on their peptide characteristics and gaining a better understanding of drug-drug interactions. Conclusions: The use of PK modelling approaches in radiopharmaceutical research remains scarce, but can be expanded to obtain a better understanding of PK and whole-body distribution of radiopharmaceuticals in general. PK modelling of radiopharmaceuticals has great potential for the nearby future and could contribute to the evolving research of radiopharmaceuticals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7804-7820
Number of pages17
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • PBPK model
  • pharmacokinetics
  • PK model
  • population pharmacokinetic model
  • radiopharmaceuticals


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