Antiestrogen or estrogen as anticancer drug

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)


In postmenopausal women estrogens have unquestionable preventive and curative effects against atherogenic cardiovascular lesions, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, recent studies on correlations between hormone replacement therapy and cancer risk could justify preventive, anticancer capacities of estrogen both on smoking associated and hormone related cancers. Experimental developing of antiestrogen compounds aimed to inhibit the binding of presumably harmful, endogenous estrogen to its receptor system so as to achieve a regression of hormone-related cancers. However, antiestrogens proved to be ineffective in the majority of selected, receptor positive breast cancer cases and produced severe side effects, such as vascular complications and cancer development at several sites. Failure of antiestrogen therapy was designated as "endocrine resistance" of tumors. Therapeutic failures resulted in further search for effective drugs against hormone responsive tumors, designed as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). All these endocrine manipulations yielded fairly controversial results in breast cancer therapy, but the basic principle of estrogen carcinogenicity remained unquestionable. Moreover, a dangerous new trend is the recommendation of antiestrogens for cancer prevention at several sites. Publications on the estrogen treatment of advanced breast cancer cases are regularly returning and the results are encouraging. Advantageous apoptotic effect of estrogen on advanced breast cancers was established as an adverse effect instead of proliferative activity. Considering the newly introduced principle of the anticancer capacity of estrogen, the old-fashioned estrogen therapy in cancer treatment is to be applied and further developed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSex Hormones
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopment, Regulation and Disorders
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781613247150
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Suba, Z. (2011). Antiestrogen or estrogen as anticancer drug. In Sex Hormones: Development, Regulation and Disorders (pp. 75-94). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..