Although tamoxifen is a classical example of a targeted drug, a substantial proportion of estrogen receptor alpha positive breast cancer patients does not benefit from the drug. Over the last few decades, many potential biomarkers have been discovered in cell biological studies that may aid in the prediction of tamoxifen sensitivity and guide in treatment selection. Nonetheless, the transition of such a biomarker from the scientific community towards a diagnostic test that can be used in daily clinical practice has been far from ideal, and such markers seldom face clinical introduction. From a large number of potential predictive biomarkers as described in cell biological literature, the clinical (translational) scientist has to make a decision which of these biomarkers should be tested in clinical material to determine their clinical validity. This problem is not trivial, since patient samples with clinical follow-up are a valuable asset that should therefore be cherished. In this review, we will describe a number of 'cell biological biomarkers' for tamoxifen resistance and their possible clinical implications. This may guide the clinical scientist in choosing what potential biomarkers to test on tumour samples, which may catalyse the translation of scientific discoveries into daily clinical practice of breast cancer medicine.