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Toxicol Pathol. 2010 Jan;38(1):110-22. doi: 10.1177/0192623309354108. Epub 2009 Nov 21.

Estrogen and xenoestrogens in breast cancer.

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  • 1Breast Cancer Research Laboratory, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.


There is growing concern that estrogenic environmental compounds that act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals might potentially have adverse effects on hormone-sensitive organs such as the breast. This concern is further fueled by evidence indicating that natural estrogens, specifically 17beta-estradiol, are important factors in the initiation and progression of breast cancer. We have developed an in vitro-in vivo model in which we have demonstrated the carcinogenicity of E2 in human breast epithelial cells MCF-10F. Hypermethylation of NRG1, STXBP6, BMP6, CSS3, SPRY1, and SNIP were found at different progression stages in this model. The use of this powerful and unique model has provided a tool for exploring whether bisphenol A and butyl benzyl phthalate have relevance in the initiation of breast cancer. These studies provide firsthand evidence that the natural estrogen 17beta-estradiol and xenoestrogenic substances like bisphenol A are able to induce neoplastic transformation in human breast epithelial cells.

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