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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1990 Dec 20;37(6):783-7.

Antitumor activity and mechanism of action of different antiprogestins in experimental breast cancer models.

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Research Laboratories of Schering AG, Berlin, F.R.G.


Onapristone and other antiprogestins proved to possess a potent antitumor activity in several hormone-dependent experimental breast cancer models. This activity is as strong or even better than that of tamoxifen or ovariectomy in the MXT-mammary tumor of the mouse and the DMBA-and MNU-induced mammary tumor of the rat. The antitumor activity is evident in these models in spite of elevated serum levels of ovarian and pituitary hormones. The detailed analysis of all our data including the morphological (ultrastructure) studies of the mammary tumors of treated animals and the effects on growth and cell cycle kinetics using DNA flow cytometry indicates that the antitumor action of antiprogestins is mediated via the progesterone receptor and related to the induction of terminal cell differentiation leading to increased cell death. The strong antitumor activity of antiprogestins in our experimental breast cancer models does not primarily depend on a classical antihormonal mechanism. The antiprogestin-related reduction of the number of mammary tumor cells in the S-phase in our experimental tumor models (G0G1 arrest) emphasizes the unique innovative mechanism of action of these new agents in the treatment of human breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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