Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer

  • Claudia Fumarola
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_7152-5



Endocrine therapy in breast cancer is one of the earliest targeted therapy developed for cancer and is used to treat estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)-positive breast tumors that depend on estrogens for their growth. It works by blocking estrogen signaling through two main modalities: (1) targeting the ERα protein and (2) depriving cancer cells of estrogen supply either by ovarian suppression in premenopausal women or by inhibition of extraovarian estrogen production in postmenopausal women. Endocrine therapy is currently used both in early-stage as well as in advanced/metastatic breast cancer.


ERα-positive (ERα+) breast cancer accounts for approximately 70 % of all breast cancers and is typically characterized by positivity for progesterone receptor (PgR) expression, less frequent amplification/overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2...


Breast Cancer Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Endometrial Cancer Premenopausal Woman Ovarian Suppression 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental Medicine, Unit of Experimental OncologyUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly