Regulation of Growth and Metastases in an Estrogen Independent Breast Cancer Cell by Vitamin D Compounds
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NOTRE DAME UNIV IN
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Metastatic spread of cancer continues to he the greatest barrier to cancer cure. It is ultimately the metastatic process that causes mortality of breast cancer since uncontrolled growth of malignant cells in other tissues continues at the expense of the normal function of that tissue. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of metastasis is crucial for the design and effective use of novel therapeutic strategies to combat cancer. In estrogen dependent mammary epithelial cells, estrogen ablation or anti-estrogen treatments such as Tamoxifen activate apoptosis secondary to disruption of estrogen survival signals. Anti-estrogen therapies can induce remission in patients whose tumors contain estrogen dependent cells, however prolonged treatment with anti-hormonal therapies often leads to the emergence of hormone independent cells, which is frequently associated with increased metastatic capacity and reduced survival time Beckman, Niederacher et al 1997. Therefore, apoptosis in breast tumors consisting of estrogen independent cells would require use of agents that exploit signaling pathways which are independent from those triggered by disruption of estrogen receptor ER function.
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