The Role of CYP2D6 Polymorphisms in Determining Response to Tamoxifen in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients: Review and Egyptian Experience

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Medical Oncology department, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cairo University, Egypt.

2 Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Egypt.

3 Molecular Virology and Immunology Unit, Cancer Biology Department, NCI, Cairo University, Egypt.

4 Tissue Culture and Cytogenetics Unit, Department of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Egypt.


Background: Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) represents a major health problem in Egypt and worldwide. Prognostic and predictive factors for patients with MBC are highly required for better management and improved survival. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic and predictive value(s) of CYP2D6 polymorphisms in Tamoxifen responders and non-responders. Methods: A cohort of 157 hormone receptor positive, locally recurrent inoperable and/or metastatic (MBC) Egyptian female patients was assessed for CYP2D6 polymorphisms. Data were correlated to relevant clinic-pathological features of the patients, response to tamoxifen, and survival rates. Results: CYP2D6 polymorphisms were detected in 44/157 cases (28%), 30 of them (68.2%) were refractory and 14 (31.8%) were responders (P=0.027). The CYP2D6 *3,*4 variants were significantly prevalent in the refractory group 26/30 (86.6%), while the *10/*10 and *10/*3 variants were more common in the responders 12/14 (85.71%, P=0.027). CYP2D6 polymorphism associated significantly with Her-2 amplification (P=0.001) as well as reduced overall survival rates in both refractory and responder patients (p < 0.001). Conclusion: CYP2D6 polymorphisms can significantly predict response to Tamoxifen treatment, and also associates with poor overall survival rates in MBC patients


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