PURPOSE: The anticancer agent, cyclophosphamide, is metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzymes. Polymorphisms of these enzymes may affect the pharmacokinetics of cyclophosphamide and thereby its toxicity and efficacy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of known allelic variants in the CYP2B6, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, GSTA1, GSTP1, ALDH1A1 and ALDH3A1 genes on the pharmacokinetics of the anticancer agent, cyclophosphamide, and its active metabolite 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A cohort of 124 Caucasian patients received a high-dose chemotherapy combination consisting of cyclophosphamide (4-6 g/m), thiotepa (320-480 mg/m) and carboplatin (area under the curve 13-20 mg×min/ml) as intravenous infusions over 4 consecutive days. Genomic DNA was analysed using PCR and sequencing. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to measure plasma concentrations of cyclophosphamide and 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide. The relationship between allelic variants and the elimination pharmacokinetic parameters noninducible cyclophosphamide clearance (CLnonind), inducible cyclophosphamide clearance (CLind) and elimination rate constant of 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide (k4OHCP) were evaluated using nonlinear mixed effects modelling. RESULTS: The interindividual variability in the noninducible cyclophosphamide clearance, inducible cyclophosphamide clearance and 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide clearance was 23, 27 and 31%, respectively. No effect of the allelic variants investigated on the clearance of cyclophosphamide or 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide could be demonstrated. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that the presently evaluated variant alleles in the CYP2B6, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, GSTA1, GSTP1, ALDH1A1 and ALDH3A1 genes do not explain the interindividual variability in cyclophosphamide and 4- hydroxycyclophosphamide pharmacokinetics and are, probably, not the cause of the observed variability in toxicity.