alexa The 38th David A. Karnofsky lecture: the paradoxical actions of estrogen in breast cancer--survival or death?
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems

Author(s): Jordan VC

Abstract Share this page

Abstract During the first David A. Karnofsky Award lecture entitled "Thoughts on Chemical Therapy" in 1970, Sir Alexander Haddow commented about the dramatic regressions observed with estrogen in some breast cancers in postmenopausal women, but regrettably the mechanism was unknown. He was concerned that a cancer-specific target would remain elusive, without tests to predict response to therapy. At that time, I was conducting research for my PhD on an obscure group of estrogen derivatives called nonsteroidal antiestrogens. Antiestrogens had failed to fulfill their promise as postcoital contraceptives and were unlikely to be developed further by the pharmaceutical industry. In 1972, that perspective started to change and ICI 46,474 was subsequently reinvented as the first targeted therapy for breast cancer. The scientific strategy of targeting the estrogen receptor (ER) in the tumor, treating patients with long-term adjuvant therapy, examining active metabolites, and considering chemoprevention all translated through clinical trials to clinical practice during the next 35 years. Hundreds of thousands of women now have enhanced survivorship after their diagnosis of ER-positive breast cancer. However, it was the recognition of selective ER modulation (SERM) that created a new dimension in therapeutics. Nonsteroidal antiestrogens selectively turn on or turn off estrogen target tissues throughout the body. Patient care was immediately affected by the recognition in the laboratory that tamoxifen would potentially increase the growth of endometrial cancer during long-term adjuvant therapy. At that time, a failed breast cancer drug, keoxifene, was found to maintain bone density of rats (estrogenic action) while simultaneously preventing mammary carcinogenesis (antiestrogenic action). Perhaps a SERM used to prevent osteoporosis could simultaneously prevent breast cancer? Keoxifene was renamed raloxifene and became the first SERM for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis as well as the prevention of breast cancer, but without an increase in endometrial cancer. There the story might have ended had the study of antihormone resistance not revealed a vulnerability of cancer cells that could be exploited in the clinic. The evolution of antihormone resistance over years of therapy reconfigures the survival mechanism of the breast cancer cell, so estrogen no longer is a survival signal but a death signal. Remarkably, remaining tumor tissue is again responsive to continuing antihormone therapy. This new discovery is currently being evaluated in clinical trials but it also solves the mystery mechanism of chemical therapy with estrogen noted by Haddow in the first Karnofsky lecture. This article was published in J Clin Oncol and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems

Relevant Expert PPTs

Relevant Speaker PPTs

Recommended Conferences

Relevant Topics

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

Agri, Food, Aqua and Veterinary Science Journals

Dr. Krish

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9040

Clinical and Biochemistry Journals

Datta A

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9037

Business & Management Journals


1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Journals

Gabriel Shaw

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9040

Earth & Environmental Sciences

Katie Wilson

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Engineering Journals

James Franklin

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

General Science and Health care Journals

Andrea Jason

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9043

Genetics and Molecular Biology Journals

Anna Melissa

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9006

Immunology & Microbiology Journals

David Gorantl

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9014

Informatics Journals

Stephanie Skinner

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Material Sciences Journals

Rachle Green

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Mathematics and Physics Journals

Jim Willison

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9042

Medical Journals

Nimmi Anna

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9038

Neuroscience & Psychology Journals

Nathan T

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9041

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journals

John Behannon

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9007

Social & Political Science Journals

Steve Harry

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9042

© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version