Guidelines are conflicting and have caused confusion regarding whether tamoxifen should be prescribed based on women’s CYP2D6 genotypes. This study aims to investigate if CYP2D6 metabolizer status is associated with tamoxifen-related endocrine symptoms, tamoxifen discontinuation, and mammographic density change.
We used data from 1,440 healthy women who participated the KARISMA dose determination trial. Endocrine symptom was measured using a modified Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Endocrine Symptoms (FACT-ES) questionnaire. Change in mammographic density was measured and used as a proxy for tamoxifen response. Participants were genotyped and categorized as poor, intermediate, normal, or ultrarapid CYP2D6 metabolizers.
The median endoxifen level per mg oral tamoxifen among poor, intermediate, normal and ultrarapid CYP2D6 metabolizers were 0.18 ng/ml, 0.38 ng/ml, 0.56 ng/ml and 0.67 ng/ml, respectively. Ultrarapid CYP2D6 metabolizers were more likely than other groups to report a clinically relevant change in cold sweats, hot flash, mood swings, being irritable, as well as the overall modified FACT-ES score, after taking tamoxifen. The 6-month tamoxifen discontinuation rates among poor, intermediate, normal, and ultrarapid CYP2D6 metabolizers were 25.7%, 23.6%, 28.6%, and 44.4%, respectively. Among those who continued and finished the 6-month tamoxifen intervention, the mean change in dense area among poor, intermediate, normal, and ultrarapid CYP2D6 metabolizers were -0.8 cm2, -4.5 cm2, -4.1 cm2, and -8.0 cm2, respectively.
Poor CYP2D6 metabolizers are likely to experience an impaired response to tamoxifen, measured through mammographic density reduction. In contrast, ultrarapid CYP2D6 metabolizers are at risk for exaggerated response with pronounced adverse effects that may lead to treatment discontinuation.

Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.