A selective and accurate analytical method is needed to quantify tamoxifen and its phase I metabolites in a prospective clinical protocol, for evaluation of pharmacokinetic parameters of tamoxifen and its metabolites in adjuvant treatment of breast cancer. The selectivity of the analytical method is a fundamental criteria to allow the quantification of the main active metabolites (Z)-isomers from (Z)'-isomers. An UPLC-MS/MS method was developed and validated for the quantification of (Z)-tamoxifen, (Z)-endoxifen, (E)-endoxifen, Z'-endoxifen, (Z)'-endoxifen, (Z)-4-hydroxytamoxifen, (Z)-4'-hydroxytamoxifen, N-desmethyl tamoxifen, and tamoxifen-N-oxide. The validation range was set between 0.5ng/mL and 125ng/mL for 4-hydroxytamoxifen and endoxifen isomers, and between 12.5ng/mL and 300ng/mL for tamoxifen, tamoxifen N-desmethyl and tamoxifen-N-oxide. The application to patient plasma samples was performed.
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