Main content area

Highly sensitive simultaneous quantification of estrogenic tamoxifen metabolites and steroid hormones by LC-MS/MS

Johänning, Janina, Heinkele, Georg, Precht, Jana C., Brauch, Hiltrud, Eichelbaum, Michel, Schwab, Matthias, Schroth, Werner, Mürdter, Thomas E.
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2015 v.407 no.24 pp. 7497-7502
acetonitrile, androstenedione, breast neoplasms, derivatization, estradiol, estrone, formic acid, iodides, ionization, metabolites, monitoring, patients, postmenopause, progesterone, solid phase extraction, spectrometers, steroid hormones, tamoxifen, testosterone, therapeutics
Tamoxifen is a mainstay in the treatment of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and is metabolized to more than 30 different compounds. Little is known about in vivo concentrations of estrogenic metabolites E-metabolite E, Z-metabolite E, and bisphenol and their relevance for tamoxifen efficacy. Therefore, we developed a highly sensitive HPLC-ESI-MS/MS quantification method for tamoxifen metabolites bisphenol, E-metabolite E, and Z-metabolite E as well as for the sex steroid hormones estradiol, estrone, testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone. Plasma samples were subjected to protein precipitation followed by solid phase extraction. Upon derivatization with 3-[(N-succinimide-1-yl)oxycarbonyl]-1-methylpyridinium iodide, all analytes were separated on a sub-2-μm column with a gradient of acetonitrile in water with 0.1 % of formic acid. Analytes were detected on a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer with positive electrospray ionization in the multiple reaction monitoring mode. Our method demonstrated high sensitivity, accuracy, and precision. The lower limits of quantification were 12, 8, and 25 pM for bisphenol, E-metabolite E, and Z-metabolite E, respectively, and 4 pM for estradiol and estrogen, 50 pM for testosterone and androstenedione, and 25 pM for progesterone. The method was applied to plasma samples of postmenopausal patients taken at baseline and under tamoxifen therapy.