Development and validation of a novel LC–MS/MS method for simultaneous determination of abiraterone and its seven steroidal metabolites in human serum: Innovation in separation of diastereoisomers without use of a chiral column

Mohammad Alyamani, Zhenfei Li, Sunil K. Upadhyay, David J. Anderson, Richard J. Auchus, Nima Sharifi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Abiraterone acetate (AA), the prodrug of abiraterone, is FDA-approved for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer. Abiraterone is metabolized in patients to a more potent analogue, D4A. However, we have recently reported that this analogue is further metabolized to additional metabolites in patients treated with AA. Here, we present a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method developed to resolve and detect abiraterone and its seven metabolites in human serum using an AB Sciex Qtrap 5500 mass analyzer coupled with a Shimadzu Nexera UPLC station. Analytes and the internal standard (abiraterone-d4) were extracted from human serum using the liquid–liquid extraction procedure. The analytes were separated using a Zorbax Eclipse Plus C18 150 × 2.1 mm, 3.5 μm column at 40 °C and an isocratic mobile phase 35% A (0.1% formic acid in water), 65% B (0.1% formic acid in methanol:acetonitrile; 60:40). Electrospray ionization in positive mode was applied with multiple reaction monitoring in a total run time of 13 min. Abiraterone detection was linear in the range 2–400 ng/mL and all metabolites from 0.1–20 ng/mL. The method was validated following US FDA guidelines for bioanalytical method validation, and all the metabolite results were within the acceptance limits. Despite the similarity in structure and mass transition between the metabolites, the validated method separated all the metabolites, including diastereomers, to allow accurate identification and quantitation of each compound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-239
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
StatePublished - Sep 2017



  • Abiraterone
  • LC–MS/MS
  • Metabolites
  • Method validation
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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