Background: Reduced CYP2D6 metabolism and low Z-endoxifen (ENDX) concentrations may increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence in tamoxifen (TAM)-treated women. Little is known regarding the differences between TAM and ENDX murine pharmacokinetics or the effect of administration route on plasma concentrations of each drug.
Methods: The pharmacokinetics of TAM and ENDX were characterized in female mice.
Results: For subcutaneous [s.c.] and oral TAM (4, 10 and 20 mg/kg), TAM AUC increased in a linear manner, but concentrations of the active metabolites [ENDX and 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4HT)] remained low. For oral TAM (20 mg), 4HT concentrations were tenfold greater (>25 ng/ml) than achievable in TAM-treated humans. Both oral (10-200 mg/kg) and s.c. (2.5-25 mg/kg) ENDX·HCl resulted in a greater than dose-proportional increase in AUC, with eightfold greater ENDX concentrations than an equivalent TAM dose. ENDX accumulated in plasma after 5-day dosing of 25 or 100 mg/kg ENDX·HCl and exceeded target concentrations of 0.1 and 1.0 μM, respectively, by twofold to fourfold.
Conclusions: In murine models, oral ENDX yields substantially higher ENDX concentrations, compared to TAM. The low 4HT and ENDX concentrations observed in mice receiving s.c. TAM mirror the TAM pharmacokinetics in humans with impaired CYP2D6 metabolism. These data support the ongoing development of ENDX as a novel agent for the endocrine treatment of ER-positive breast cancer.