The significance of oestrogen and progesterone receptors in breast cancer 198-203
Dr. Varghese C.,Mumbai INDIA
It was 40 years ago, that the importance of steroid hormone receptors in the biology of breast cancer was recognized. This important finding was the result of a study in which radiolabelled oestrogens concentrated preferentially in the oestrogen-influenced target organs of animals, and also in human breast cancers. Thus, the concept of an oestrogen receptor (ER) was established. Ever since, it has been observed that human breast cancers are dependent upon oestrogen and/or progesterone for growth, and that this effect is mediated through ERs and progesterone receptors (PRs). Thus ER and PR are both found to be overexpressed in malignant breast tissue. Oestrogen receptor (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR) expressing breast cancers are found to have different clinical, pathological, and molecular features. They have been found to play a significant role in the prognosis and treatment of breast cancers. Recent developments which provided new insights into hormone receptor biology and the increasing array of proteins that can modify their function, have helped modulate better therapies for breast cancer.(eg). ,Selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMS), which are drugs that interact with the oestrogen receptor, have been approved for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Also, less expensive, simpler, and possibly more accurate measurements of ER and PR have been made possible by methods for assaying receptor proteins.