The role of aromatase and other oestrogen producing enzymes in mammary carcinogenesis

  • Mohamed Salhab
  • Kefah Mokbel
Part of the Cancer Metastasis – Biology and Treatment book series (CMBT, volume 11)


There is a large and compelling body of epidemiological and experimental evidence that oestrogens are the fuel behind the aetiology of breast cancer. The local biosynthesis of oestrogens especially in postmenopausal women as a result of the interactions of various enzymes is believed to play a very important role in the pathogenesis and development of hormone-dependent breast carcinoma. The over-expression of such enzymes seems to be associated ciated with the development of a more aggressive disease and associated with poor outcome and increased local and distant recurrences. In this chapter we shed light on CYP19 gene expression, aromatase enzyme activity and its role in mammary carcinogenesis. In addition, other oestrogen producing enzymes such as 17beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1, 2 and steroid sulphatase and their role in breast cancer development are these enzymes is crucial to the development of new endocrine preventative and therapeutic strategies in postmenopausal females with hormonedependant breast cancer. Currently, the third generation of aromatase dependant breast cancer. Currently, the third generation of aromatase inhibitors has revolutionised the treatment of oestrogen-dependant breast cancer. However, the important role of both STS and 17beta HSD type 1 therapy. Such endocrine therapy is currently being explored and the development of STS inhibitors and 17beta HSD 1 inhibitors is underway with promising initial results.


breast cancer estrogen postmenopausal aromatase 17beta HSD type 1 steroid sulphatase carcinogenesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed Salhab
    • 1
  • Kefah Mokbel
    • 2
  1. 1.St. George's HospitalUK
  2. 2.The Princess Grace HospitalUK

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