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Oncologist. 2011;16(6):820-34. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2010-0259. Epub 2011 May 31.

Part 2: pharmacogenetic variability in drug transport and phase I anticancer drug metabolism.

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Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medical Oncology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Equivalent drug doses in anticancer chemotherapy may lead to wide interpatient variability in drug response reflected by differences in treatment response or in severity of adverse drug reactions. Differences in the pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) behavior of a drug contribute to variation in treatment outcome among patients. An important factor responsible for this variability is genetic polymorphism in genes that are involved in PK/PD processes, including drug transporters, phase I and II metabolizing enzymes, and drug targets, and other genes that interfere with drug response. In order to achieve personalized pharmacotherapy, drug dosing and treatment selection based on genotype might help to increase treatment efficacy while reducing unnecessary toxicity. We present a series of four reviews about pharmacogenetic variability in anticancer drug treatment. This is the second review in the series and is focused on genetic variability in genes encoding drug transporters (ABCB1 and ABCG2) and phase I drug-metabolizing enzymes (CYP2B6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, DPYD, CDA and BLMH) and their associations with anticancer drug treatment outcome. Based on the literature reviewed, opportunities for patient-tailored anticancer therapy are presented.

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