Therapeutic drug monitoring of tamoxifen using LC-MS/MS.
ABSTRACT Tamoxifen is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that is used widely in the treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer (ER+). Therapeutic monitoring of tamoxifen, and its metabolites N-desmethyltamoxifen (NDTam) and 4-hydroxy-N-desmethyltamoxifen (endoxifen), may be clinically useful for guiding treatment decisions. Two significant barriers to tamoxifen efficacy are: (1) variability in conversion of tamoxifen into the potent antiestrogenic metabolite, endoxifen, and (2) poor compliance and adherence to tamoxifen therapy. Therapeutic monitoring can be used to address both of these issues. Low levels of endoxifen indicate either poor compliance or poor metabolism of tamoxifen. Low tamoxifen levels would suggest poor compliance while a low ratio of endoxifen to NDTam would be indicative of poor metabolism. Solid phase extraction of patient serum followed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) detection enables rapid, accurate, detection of tamoxifen, N-desmethyltamoxifen, and endoxifen.