Prospective evaluation of estrogen receptor-β in predicting response to neoadjuvant antiestrogen therapy in elderly breast cancer patients

Vera Cappelletti, Luigi Celio, Emilio Bajetta, Arianna Allevi, Raffaella Longarini, Patrizia Miodini, Raffaella Villa, Alessandra Fabbri, Luigi Mariani, Riccardo Giovanazzi, Emanuele Galante, Marco Greco, Maria Grazia Daidone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


It has been proposed that knowledge of estrogen receptor β(ER-β) expression may refine estrogen receptor β(ER-α) predictivity of response to endocrine therapy. We challenged this hypothesis in ER-α-positive breast cancers subjected to preoperative antiestrogen treatment. Forty-seven elderly (≥65 years old) women with nonmetastatic, ER-α-positive (by immunohistochemistry) primary breast cancers (> 2 cm in diameter) entered a neoadjuvant hormone therapy protocol (60 mg/day toremifene for 3 months). ER-α and ER-β (ERs) mRNA was determined by semiquantitative RT-PCR, before (on core needle biopsy) and after (on surgical specimens) neoadjuvant treatment. Study end points included: (1) relation between treatment response and ER mRNA expression; and (2) changes in ER expression after treatment. The response was clinically assessed as tumor size change at the end of the preoperative treatment. ER mRNA expression was assessable before and after treatment in 38 and 20 cases respectively. ER-β was co-expressed with ER-α at variable levels and significantly correlated only with progesterone receptor (P = 0.0285). Objective clinical response, including patients with minor change (≥25-

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-770
Number of pages10
JournalEndocrine-Related Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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