Abstract Phase II attrition of clinical candidates in the drug development cycle is currently a major issue facing the pharmaceutical industry. To decrease phase II attrition, there is an increased emphasis on validation of mechanism of action, development of efficacy models and measurement of drug levels at the site of action. PD 0332991, a highly specific inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK-4) is currently in clinical development for the treatment of solid tumor. A clinical presurgical study will be required to better understand how PD 0332991 affects signaling pathways and how the intratumoral concentration of PD 0332991 correlates with plasma PK parameters and molecular alterations in breast cancer tissues after PD 0332991 treatment. Before conducting such a clinical study, it is important to evaluate PD 0332991 levels in tumor tissue samples from a xenograft mouse model for the determination of drug exposure at the site of action. Therefore, the objectives of this study were (1) to develop and validate a sensitive LC–MS/MS method to quantify PD 0332991 in mouse tumor tissues from MDA-MB-231-Luc human breast tumor xenografts in SCID-beige mice; (2) to quantify PD 0332991 levels in mouse tumor tissues after oral administration of PD 0332991 at 10 and 100 mg/kg using the validated LC–MS/MS method. Both liquid–liquid extraction (LLE) and supported liquid extraction (SLE) in a 96-well format were developed and evaluated to achieve optimal extraction recovery with minimal matrix effects. The newly developed SLE method is more efficient (speed and ease) and demonstrates comparable recovery (93.1–100% at three different concentrations) compared to the traditional LLE method. The validated LC–MS/MS for PD 032291 in mouse tumor tissue homogenate method exhibited a linear dynamic range of 0.1–100 ng/mL with inter-day accuracy and precision within 15%. The validated method was successfully applied to measure PD 0332991 levels in tumor tissues in MDA-MB-231-Luc human breast tumor xenografts in SCID beige mice. The mean tumor concentrations at 6 h post-oral PD 0332991 administration at 10 and 100 mg/kg were 1793 (±1008) and 25,163 (±3959) ng/g, respectively.