March 2003
Article Features
  Heightening Breast Cancer Awareness Among African-American Women
Size at Birth Linked with Risk of Breast Cancer in Women Under 50
Single-Fraction Radiotherapy for Painful Bone Metastases
Bush Proposes Increased Funding for Cancer Screening
Scientists Unlock Secrets of Cancer's Eternal Youth
Targeting Breast Cancer Drug Therapy for Individual Patients
Abnormal Number of Chromosomes is One Step in Cancer Development
Depression and Breast Cancer Survival
New Insights Regarding the Tumor-Suppressor Gene P53
Gene Loss Creates Age- and Gender-Dependent Cancer Syndrome In Mice
Survey Finds Loved Ones Outpace Support Groups in Cancer Care
Radiologist Training May Affect Accuracy of Mammogram Interpretation
Structure of Key Breast Cancer Receptor Determined


Complementry Articles
Targeted Immunotherapy Eradicates Cancer in Mice


Estrogen Receptor Status in Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Predicts Effectiveness of Tamoxifen Therapy.

Prepared by Dr. Pedram Argani, lead pathologist for breast cancer at Johns Hopkins.

The estrogen receptor is present in normal breast epithelium, where it mediates cell proliferation (growth) in response to hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle. Estrogen receptor is present in approximately two-thirds of invasive breast carcinomas, where is presumably mediates hormonally driven tumor growth. In other words, the normal estrogen in the body stimulates the tumor to grow, just as it stimulates the normal breast epithelium to grow. The presence of estrogen receptor in invasive carcinoma is a favorable prognostic factor, since outcome is slightly better regardless of the therapy given. More importantly, the presence of estrogen receptor in invasive carcinoma is an important predictive factor of response to endocrine therapy; specifically, Tamoxifen. In general, estrogen receptor positive tumors respond, estrogen receptor negative tumors do not

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