Novel endocrine therapies in breast cancer

Published on Sunday, 15 September 2013


Endocrine therapy of breast cancer consists of a variety of both medical and surgical ablative treatment modalities, but ablative therapy is increasingly replaced by medical treatment.

Most endocrine therapies have more than one endocrine effect, frequently together with direct growth inhibitory actions via receptors.

Endocrine therapy can be effective in all phases of the disease, but curative only in early disease while in advanced cancer it can only prolong survival. In the past decade the number of available endocrine agents has been drastically increased.

Novel approaches in the endocrine therapy of breast cancer are application of new antiestrogens, antiprogestins, new potent aromatase inhibitors, analogues of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH-A) and somatostatin, inhibitors of prolactin secretion, vitamin A and D analogues, bisphosphonates, growth factor antagonists, tyrosine protein kinase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, inhibitors of angiogenesis, radiolabeled hormones and monoclonal antibodies.

New cell biological factors such as oncogenes and suppressorgenes, secretory proteins and membrane receptors can be used not only as prognostic factors but also for prediction of type of response to endocrine and chemotherapy.

Thus, these cell biological parameters can be used to select high and low risk patients, type of systemic treatment, and can also be used as targets for new treatment modalities. Future studies on treatment of all stages of disease will increasingly focus on promising combined treatment modalities.



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