- Almost one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
- In 95% of cases of breast cancer, it is an adenocarcinoma.
“Breast cancer affects 1 in 7 women. In more than two-thirds of cases, there is hormone sensitivity and estrogen receptor expression in at least 1% of tumor cells,” Cathrin Brisken, a professor in the Faculty of Life Sciences at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, said in a statement. Until now, the effect of estrogen and progesterone on the development of breast cancer was unknown. That is why scientists decided to conduct a study, the results of which were published in the journal NatureCommunications.
Estrogen and progesterone
As part of this work, the authors managed to transplant estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells into immunocompromised mice. Next, they studied in vivo the interaction between estrogen and progesterone receptors, which hampers hormonal treatments. “We found that, independently, before menopause, both hormones increase tumor growth and that the combined treatment promotes metastatic spread,” can we read in the results.
The team clarified that the tumors reacted differently to the two hormones depending on the patient. The authors suggested that endocrine therapy should be tailored to each patient. “In addition, suppressing progesterone receptor expression may be a therapeutic option”said Cathrin Brisken.