Influence of pharmacogenetics on response and toxicity in breast cancer patients treated with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide

Br J Cancer. 2010 Mar 16;102(6):1003-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605587. Epub 2010 Feb 23.


Background: Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (AC) therapy is an effective treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Doxorubicin is a substrate for ABCB1 and SLC22A16 transporters. Cyclophosphamide is a prodrug that requires oxidation to 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide, which yields a cytotoxic alkylating agent. The initial oxidation is catalysed by cytochrome P450 enzymes including CYP2B6, CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP3A5. Polymorphic variants of the genes coding for these enzymes and transporters have been identified, which may influence the systemic pharmacology of the two drugs. It is not known whether this genetic variation has an impact on the efficacy or toxicity of AC therapy.

Methods: Germ line DNA samples from 230 patients with breast cancer on AC therapy were genotyped for the following SNPs: ABCB1 C1236T, G2677T/A and C3435T, SLC22A16 A146G, T312C, T755C and T1226C, CYP2B6*2, *8, *9, *3, *4 and *5, CYP2C9*2 and *3, CYP3A5*3 and CYP2C19*2. Clinical data on survival, toxicity, demographics and pathology were collated.

Results: A lower incidence of dose delay, indicative of less toxicity, was seen in carriers of the SLC22A16 A146G, T312C, T755C variants. In contrast, a higher incidence of dose delay was seen in carriers of the SLC22A16 1226C, CYP2B6*2 and CYP2B6*5 alleles. The ABCB1 2677A, CYP2B6*2, CYP 2B6*8, CYP 2B6*9, CYP 2B6*4 alleles were associated with a worse outcome.

Conclusion: Variant alleles in the ABCB1, SLC22A16 and CYP2B6 genes are associated with response to AC therapy in the treatment of breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / genetics
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Pharmacological / analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / mortality
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage*
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B6
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage*
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating / genetics
  • Pharmacogenetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis


  • ABCB1 protein, human
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Biomarkers, Pharmacological
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins
  • SLC22A16 protein, human
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • CYP2B6 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B6
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating