Development and evaluation of a harmonized whole body physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for flutamide in rats and its extrapolation to humans

Raju Prasad Sharma, Vikas Kumar*, Marta Schuhmacher, Alexey Kolodkin, Hans V. Westerhoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


By their definition, inadvertent exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) intervenes with the endocrine signalling system, even at low dose. On the one hand, some EDCs are used as important pharmaceutical drugs that one would not want to dismiss. On the other hand, these pharmaceutical drugs are having off-target effects and increasingly significant exposure to the general population with unwanted health implications. Flutamide, one of the top pharmaceutical products marketed all over the world for the treatment of prostate cancer, is also a pollutant. Its therapeutic action mainly depends on targeting the androgen receptors and inhibiting the androgen action that is essential for growth and survival of prostate tissue. Currently flutamide is of concern with respect to its categorization as an endocrine disruptor. In this work we have developed a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model of flutamide that could serve as a standard tool for its human risk assessment. First we built the model for rat (where many parameters have been measured). The rat PBPK model was extrapolated to human where the re-parameterization involved human-specific physiology, metabolic kinetics derived from in-vitro studies, and the partition coefficient same as the rat model. We have harmonized the model by integrating different sets of in-vitro, in-vivo and physiological data into a PBPK model. Then the model was used to simulate different exposure scenarios and the results were compared against the observed data. Both uncertainty and sensitivity analysis was done. Since this new whole-body PBPK model can predict flutamide concentrations not only in plasma but also in various organs, the model may have clinical applications in efficacy and safety assessment of flutamide. The model can also be used for reverse dosimetry in the context of interpreting the available biomonitoring data to estimate the degree to which the population is currently being exposed, and a tool for the pharmaceutical companies to validate the estimated Permitted Daily Exposure (PDE) for flutamide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108948
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • EDCs
  • Flutamide
  • Flutamide hydroxide
  • PBPK


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