The Value of Determination of Nuclear Oestrogen Receptors in Breast Cancer Biopsies

  • S. Cowan
  • C. Love
  • R. E. Leake
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 91)


The oestrogen receptor status of the soluble fraction of a tumour biopsy is now accepted as a valuable tool in the management of advanced breast cancer [11]. Soluble receptor status of primary disease may also be of value as a prognostic index [3, 20], although this value might be limited to patients with intermediate nodal involvement [19]. However, the presence of soluble receptors alone is not an absolute index of hormonal dependence [22]. Hormone-receptor complex might fail to undergo translocation/activation [37] or to bind to the correct acceptor sites on the DNA [33]. Loss of hormonal dependence through a breakdown at the post-transcriptional level is also a possibility. For these reasons several parameters of oestrogen response have been studied in breast tumour biopsies. Measurement of the presence of progesterone receptor (a product of oestrogen action) has proved productive [11]. The suggestion that a useful index of hormonal dependence might simply be the presence of nuclear-bound oestrogen receptor [21] has been followed up by several groups [2, 15, 29, 38].


Breast Cancer Oestrogen Receptor Nuclear Receptor Receptor Status Advanced Breast Cancer 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Cowan
    • 1
  • C. Love
    • 1
  • R. E. Leake
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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