Detection of new exemestane metabolites by liquid chromatography interfaced to electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry

Detection of new exemestane metabolites by liquid chromatography interfaced to electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry / Gustavo de Albuquerque Cavalcanti, Bruno Carius Garrido, Felipe Dias Leal, Monica Costa Padilha, Monica Mazzarino, Xavier de la Torre, Francesco Botre, Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto. - (The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 127 (2011) 3-5 (November); p. 248-254)

  • PMID: 21924357
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2011.08.014


Exemestane is an irreversible aromatase inhibitor used for anticancer therapy. Unfortunately, this drug is also misused in sports to avoid some adverse effects caused by steroids administration. For this reason exemestane has been included in World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. Usually, doping control laboratories monitor prohibited substances through their metabolites, because parent compounds are readily metabolized. Thus metabolism studies of these substances are very important. Metabolism of exemestane in humans is not clearly reported and this drug is detected indirectly through analysis of its only known metabolite: 17β-hydroxyexemestane using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). This drug is extensively metabolized to several unknown oxidized metabolites. For this purpose LC-MS/MS has been used to propose new urinary exemestane metabolites, mainly oxidized in C6-exomethylene and simultaneously reduced in 17-keto group. Urine samples from four volunteers obtained after administration of a 25mg dose of exemestane were analyzed separately by LC-MS/MS. Urine samples of each volunteer were hydrolyzed followed by liquid-liquid extraction and injected into a LC-MS/MS system. Three unreported metabolites were detected in all urine samples by LC-MS/MS. The postulated structures of the detected metabolites were based on molecular formulae composition obtained through high accuracy mass determination by liquid chromatography coupled to hybrid quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF MS) (all mass errors below 2ppm), electrospray (ESI) product ion spectra and chromatographic behavior.

Original document


Research / Study
7 September 2011
Albuquergue Cavalcanti, Gustavo
Botrè, Francesco
Costa Padilha, Monica
de la Torre, Xavier
Garrido, Bruno Carius
Leal, Felipe Dias
Mazzarino, Monica
Neto, Francisco Radler Aquino
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Laboratório Brasileiro de Controle de Dopagem – LBCD – LADETEC / IQ - UFRJ
Roma, Italia: Laboratorio Antidoping FMSI
Analytical aspects
Mass spectrometry analysis
Testing method development
Doping classes
S4. Hormone And Metabolic Modulators
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Scientific article
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Date generated
9 March 2021
Date of last modification
12 March 2021
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