Raman spectroscopy as a potential tool for label free therapeutic drug monitoring in human serum: the case of busulfan and methotrexate
A methodology is proposed, based on Raman spectroscopy coupled with multivariate analysis, to determine the Limit of Detection (LOD) and Limit of Quantification (LOQ) for therapeutic drug monitoring in human serum, using the examples of Busulfan, a cell cycle non-specific alkylating antineoplastic agent, and, Methotrexate, a chemotherapeutic agent and immune system suppressant. In this study, ultrafiltration is employed to fractionate spiked human pooled serum to efficiently recover the drug in the filtrate prior to performing Raman analysis. The drug concentration ranges were chosen to encompass the recommended therapeutic ranges and toxic levels in patients. Raman spectra were collected from the filtrates in the liquid form, using an inverted backscattering microscopic geometry, using 532 nm as source. Finally, prediction models were built by using Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) and LOD and LOQ were calculated directly from the linear prediction models. The LOD calculated for Busulfan is 0.0002 ± 0.0001 mg mL−1, 30–40 times lower than the level of toxicity, enabling the application of this method in target dose adjustment of Busulfan for patients undergoing, for example, bone marrow transplantation. The LOD and LOQ calculated for Methotrexate are 7.8 ± 5 μM and 26 ± 5 μM, respectively, potentially enabling high dose monitoring. The promising results obtained from this study suggest the potential of Raman spectroscopy for therapeutic drug monitoring of drugs in bodily fluids.