Intracrine oestrogen production and action in breast cancer: an epigenetic focus

Kevin Christopher Knower, Sarah Quynh Giao To, Colin Clyne

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Epigenome changes have been widely demonstrated to contribute to the initiation and progression of a vast array of cancers including breast cancer. The reversible process of many epigenetic modifications is thus an attractive feature for the development of novel therapeutic measures. In oestrogen receptor alpha (hereinafter referred to as ER) positive tumours, endocrine therapies have proven beneficial in patient care, particularly in postmenopausal women where two-thirds of tumours are oestrogen dependent. However, resistance to such therapies is a common feature amongst individuals. In the current review, we discuss the influence that epigenetics has on oestrogen dependent breast cancers, in particular (i) the production of intracrine oestrogen in postmenopausal women, (ii) the action of oestrogen on epigenetic processes, and (iii) the links between epigenetics and endocrine resistance and the current advancements in epigenetic therapy that target this process. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled CSR 2013 .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157 - 164
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Epigenetics
  • Oestrogen biosynthesis
  • Postmenopausal breast cance
  • Endocrine therapy
  • Aromatase
  • DNA methylation

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