Systemic therapy: Selection of patients endocrine therapy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


About two-thirds of all breast tumours are hormone receptor-positive, and therefore expectedly hormone-sensitive. The proportion of ER-positive breast cancers is even higher among early breast cancers. The rationale the currently applied endocrine manipulations is oestrogen deprivation, either by competitive blockade of the hormone at the level of its receptor or by inhibition of its synthesis. The automatic administration of endocrine agents to all patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer would mean overtreatment, and would cause unnecessary morbidity to many patients. The adverse effects of endocrine therapies include gynaecologic toxicity and sexual dysfunction, osteoporosis, arthralgia, effects on the nervous system and cognitive dysfunction, thus deteriorating health-related quality of life (HRQOL). An effort should be made to balance the issues relating to the risk of relapse and the extent of hormone sensitivity, and hence the expected benefit of therapy, together with the risks accompanying the endocrine therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBreast Cancer, a Heterogeneous Disease Entity
Subtitle of host publicationThe Very Early Stages
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9789400704886
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011



  • Adverse effects
  • Hormone sensitivity
  • Hormone therapy
  • Oestrogen deprivation
  • Overtreatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Kahán, Z. (2011). Systemic therapy: Selection of patients endocrine therapy. In Breast Cancer, a Heterogeneous Disease Entity: The Very Early Stages (pp. 283-304). Springer Netherlands.