breast cancer

A new discovery of how hormone receptors interact in breast cancer cells could lead to new treatment methods that improve outcomes for many patients.

A study published in the journal Nature has reported on a discovery of how the progesterone receptor interacts with the estrogen receptor in breast cancer cells. This interaction results in a change in behaviour of the cancer cells, which slows tumor growth. The researchers suggest that the results of this study provides the basis for a clinical trial to assess whether adding progesterone to current estrogen receptor-targeted breast cancer therapy can improve outcomes for patients with breast cancer. Considering that progesterone is relatively inexpensive, safe, and widely available, the researchers suggest that adding it to treatment schedules may increase the effectiveness of current treatments in approximately 50% of breast cancer patients. Further research is necessary to determine whether this will turn out to be a new method to treat breast cancer.


Cancer Research UK Press Release “Common hormone could help treat breast cancer” Available from: Last Accessed: July 11, 2015.

Mohammed, H, Russell, I.A, Stark, R, Rueda, O.M, Hickey, T.E, Tarulli, G.A, Serandour, A.A.A, Birrell, S.N, Bruna, A, Saadi, A, Menon, S, Hadfield, J, Pugh, M, Raj, G.V, Brown, G.D, D’Santos, C, Robinson, J.L.L, Silva, G, Launchbury, R, Perou, C.M, Stingl, J, Caldas, C, Tilley, W.D, & Carroll, J.S. “Progesterone receptor modulates ERα action in breast cancer” Nature, Published online: 8 July 2015. doi:10.1038/nature14583

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Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD

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