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Eur J Cancer. 2006 Nov;42(16):2692-705. Epub 2006 Sep 11.

What clinicians need to know about antioestrogen resistance in breast cancer therapy.

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  • 1Medical Oncology and Translational Research Unit, Jules Bordet Institute, Rue H├ęger-Bordet, 1, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium.


Tamoxifen is the drug most used for early breast cancer treatment in oestrogen receptor (ER) positive patients. Unfortunately, despite high ER tumour levels in a tumour, resistance to endocrine therapy, either de novo or acquired after prolonged treatment, can occur. In this review, we will try to summarise the postulated mechanisms of hormonal-resistance, namely, the role of co-regulators and the crosstalk between the HER-2, IGF-IR, Cox-2 and ER pathways. Other predictive markers of tamoxifen-resistance/response, such as cyclin E and UPA/PAI-1, are also discussed.

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