Tamoxifen pp 137-178 | Cite as

The Effect of Tamoxifen on the Immune Response

  • Edward Baral
  • Eva Nagy
  • Istvan Berczi


The nonsteroidal anti-estrogenic agent, Tamoxifen (TX)*, is widely applied for the treatment of breast carcinomas and of some other sex hormone dependent tumors (Patterson and Battersby, 1980). It is generally accepted that the mechanism of action of TX on these tumors is due to its antiestrogenic properties, which is exerted through its binding to of the estrogen receptor but without the growth promoting effect of estradiol (E2). For this reason, TX and related drugs (toremifene-TO, ethamoxytriphenol or MER25, and clomiphene) are referred to as nonsteroidal antiestrogens (Lerner and Jordan, 1990). Such nonsteroidal antiestrogenic agents are capable to inhibit the stimulatory effect of growth factors such as epidermal growth factor or insulin on human breast carcinoma cell lines in the complete absence of estrogens. A cytotoxic effect could also be observed when the antiestrogens were used at 4 micromole concentration or higher. The presence of the estrogen receptor was still necessary for these effects. Therefore, Rochefort (1987) suggested that these agents be named estrogen receptor targeted drugs, rather than antiestrogens. However, clinical observations revealed that TX is capable of inducing regression of some tumors that lack the classical receptor for E2 (Baum, 1985; Baral et al., 1987; Vogel, et al., 1987). This phenomenon could be explained by false negative receptor assay results.


Lymphokine Activate Killer Cell Human Breast Carcinoma Cell Line Cell Mediate Lysis Autologous Mixed Lymphocyte Reaction Tumor Bearing Animal 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Baral
  • Eva Nagy
  • Istvan Berczi

There are no affiliations available

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