What is it about?

Estrogen activation of ERs was mistakenly regarded as a fuel for breast cancer initiation and growth, and an increased ER positivity in tumors was erroneously evaluated as aggressive survival technique. By contrast, elevated ER expression of tumors showed direct correlation with high differentiation and good prognosis of the disease.

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Why is it important?

The initial enthusiasm concerning endocrin therapy turned into disappointment as the majority of breast cancers proved to be primarily resistant to antiestrogens. Later, near all patients showing earlier good tumor responses experienced secondary resistance to endocrine therapy leading to metastatic disease and fatal outcome. Molecular events in tumors, responsive and unresponsive to antiestrogen therapy, illuminated that a successful inhibition of liganded ER activation stimulates, while a strong compensatory upregulation of estrogen signal inhibits the growth of tumor and helps patient’s survival.


Recognition of the principal role of endogenous estrogens in gene expression, gene edition, and DNA repair reveals that estrogen treatment and upregulation of ER expression may bring about a great turn in breast cancer care.

professor Zsuzsanna Suba
National Institute of Oncology Budapest

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This page is a summary of: Turn in Breast Cancer Care: Upregulation of Estrogen Signal May Be Much More Effective than Its Inhibition, January 2022, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/16833_2022_77.
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