Pharmacogenetics and breast cancer endocrine therapy: CYP2D6 as a predictive factor for tamoxifen metabolism and drug response?

Vered Stearns, James M. Rae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The identification of genetic polymorphisms that influence the efficacy and safety of therapies for breast cancer may allow future treatments to be individualised based not only on tumour characteristics but also on host genetics. Genetic factors that affect the metabolism, efficacy and safety of tamoxifen, one of the most common drugs used for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer, have received particular attention. Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) is crucial in the metabolism of tamoxifen to its active metabolite endoxifen. Women with genetic variants of CYP2D6 or who take drugs that inhibit the enzyme have low endoxifen plasma concentrations and may show reduced benefits to tamoxifen treatment. CYP2D6 polymorphisms and variants in other candidate genes may also influence secondary benefits and side effects of tamoxifen. Here, we summarise data suggesting that CYP2D6 status may be an important predictor of the benefits of tamoxifen to an individual; in addition, we briefly discuss the role of variants in other candidate genes. Whether CYP2D6 status should be determined prior to initiating tamoxifen therapy is currently under debate and may be appropriate only for select women who are candidates for tamoxifen alone but for whom alternative standard options are available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalExpert reviews in molecular medicine
Volume10
Issue number34
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 5 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology

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