PMID: 11384865Jun 1, 2001Paper

Molecular and pharmacological aspects of antiestrogen resistance

The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Robert ClarkeF Leonessa


Endocrine therapy is effective in approximately one-third of all breast cancers and up to 80% of tumors that express both estrogen and progesterone receptors. Despite the low toxicity, good overall response rates, and additional benefits associated with its partial agonist activity, most Tamoxifen-responsive breast cancers acquire resistance. The development of new antiestrogens, both steroidal and non-steroidal, provides the opportunity for the development of non-cross-resistant therapies and the identification of additional mechanisms of action and resistance. Drug-specific pharmacologic mechanisms may confer a resistance phenotype, reflecting the complexities of both tumor biology/pharmacology and the molecular endocrinology of steroid hormone action. However, since all antiestrogens will be effective only in cells that express estrogen receptors (ER), many mechanisms will likely be directly related to ER expression and signaling. For example, loss of ER expression/function is likely to confer a cross-resistance phenotype across all structural classes of antiestrogens. Altered expression of ERalpha and ERbeta, and/or signaling from transcription complexes driven by these receptors, may produce drug-specific resistance phenot...Continue Reading


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