Novel Strategy for Treating Estrogen Receptor Positive Advanced Breast Cancer
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Approximately 70% of breast cancer patients are estrogen receptor positive (ER+). Aromatase inhibitors and the selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), tamoxifen, are the first line treatments for these patients; however, almost 50% of patients either do not respond or acquire resistance. Paradoxically, prior to tamoxifen therapy, estradiol (E2) and the ER agonist, diethylstilbestrol, had been used in breast cancer therapy, though with serious side effects. Development of Selective human Estrogen Receptor Partial agonists (ShERPAs) that cause regression of tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer, but without the side effects of E2, represents a rational therapeutic strategy. Novel ShERPAs were developed, which in vitro in 3D cultures and in vivo caused complete regression of tamoxifen-resistant xenografts, with characteristics similar to those of E2. These ShERPAs did not fuel growth of estrogen-dependent T47D xenografts and did not cause uterine growth. Multiple mechanisms, including mutations of the ESR1 gene, contribute to AI resistance via ligand-independent constitutive activation of ER. Selective estrogen down-regulators (SERDs) that block ligand-dependent and independent ER signaling by ablation of ER, offer a therapeutic approach to treatment-resistant, advanced stage and early stage ER+ breast cancer. Therapeutic use of the first generation SERD, fulvestrant (Faslodex), has largely remained 2nd and 3rd line, because of poor physiochemical/pharmacokinetic properties. Novel benzothiophene based SERDs were designed, synthesized, and optimized and assayed in three TR endocrine-independent ER+ MCF-7 and T-47D cell lines. Cell viability, ERE-luciferase response, and ER degradation was measured and compared to parent endocrine-dependent MCF-7 and T-47D cell lines in 2D and/or 3D spheroid cell cultures and compared to SERDs, fulvestrant and GDC-0810. In summary, ShERPA and SERDS serve as potential therapeutic options for patients of these subtypes with less side effects.
Estrogen receptor positive
selective estrogen receptor downregulator (SERD)