Tamoxifen dose and serum concentrations of tamoxifen and six of its metabolites in routine clinical outpatient care.

N.G.L. Jager, H. Rosing, J.H.M. Schellens, S.C. Linn, J.H. Beijnen

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A sensitive and selective HPLC-MS/MS assay was used to analyze steady-state serum concentrations of tamoxifen, N-desmethyltamoxifen (E)-endoxifen, (Z)-endoxifen, N-desmethyl-4'-hydroxytamoxifen, 4-hydroxytamoxifen, and 4'-hydroxytamoxifen to support therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) in patients treated with tamoxifen according to standard of care. When the (Z)-endoxifen serum concentration was below the predefined therapeutic threshold concentration of 5.9 ng/mL, the clinician was advised to increase the tamoxifen dose and to collect another serum sample. Paired serum samples from patients at one dose level at different time points during the tamoxifen treatment were used to assess the intra-patient variability. A total of 251 serum samples were analyzed, obtained from 205 patients. Of these patients, 197 used 20 mg tamoxifen per day and 8 patients used 10 mg/day. There was wide variability in tamoxifen and metabolite concentrations within the dosing groups. The threshold concentration for (Z)-endoxifen was reached in one patient (12 %) in the 10 mg group, in 153 patients (78 %) in the 20 mg group, and in 26 (96 %) of the patients who received a dose increase to 30 or 40 mg/day. Dose increase from 20 to 30 or 40 mg per day resulted in a significant increase in the mean serum concentrations of all analytes (p <0.001). The mean intra-patient variability was between 10 and 20 % for all analytes. These results support the suitability of TDM for optimizing the tamoxifen treatment. It is shown that tamoxifen dose is related to (Z)-endoxifen exposure and increasing this dose leads to a higher serum concentration of tamoxifen and its metabolites. The low intra-patient variability suggests that only one serum sample is needed for TDM, making this a relatively noninvasive way to optimize the patient's treatment.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)477-83
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Cancer Res Treat
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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