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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1994;31(1):5-9.

Alternative mechanisms of action of anti-oestrogens.

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Section of Academic Surgery, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK.


The molecular mechanism of action of anti-oestrogens such as tamoxifen appears to be a complex mixture of antagonism of the mitogenic action of oestradiol at the level of the oestrogen receptor, plus a range of other activities from enzyme inhibition to growth factor modulation. This article will concentrate on two specific areas: 1) the inhibition of protein kinase C and calmodulin-dependent cAMP phosphodiesterase; and 2) the regulation by tamoxifen of peptide regulators of breast cancer epithelial cell growth such as insulin-like growth factor I (IGF I) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta). The elucidation of these mechanisms is potentially important in the treatment and chemoprevention of breast cancer-the quantitative contribution of each individual mechanism of the overall antineoplastic action of anti-oestrogens is central to developing new and possibly more effective anti-oestrogens and optimizing strategies for their use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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