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Review Article

Effectiveness of Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators in Breast Cancer Therapy: An Update

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 29 ]


Agnidipta Das, Kanamarlapudi Joshna Lavanya, Nandini, Kamalpreet Kaur and Vikas Jaitak*   Pages 3287 - 3314 ( 28 )


Background: Breast cancer is considered to be 2nd most common cancer subtype investigated worldwide. It is mainly prevalent in postmenopausal women. Estrogen Receptor (ER) is a primary transcription factor for the survival and growth of tumors. Around 80% BCs of all classes are ER-positive (ER+). Powerful evidence for estrogen proved to be involved in BC pathogenesis both exogenously and endogenously. It brings the concept of ER inhibitors to treat BC with distinct mechanisms into focus and ER PROTACs (Proteolysis-Targeting Chimeras), AIs (Aromatase inhibitors), SERMs (Selective estrogen receptor modulators), and SERDs (Selective estrogen receptor degrader) were developed. For over 30 years, Tamoxifen, a triphenylethylene SERM, was the drug of choice solely to treat ER+BC patients. Although several SERMs got approval by US FDA after tamoxifen, complicacies remain because of dangerous adverse effects like endometrial carcinoma, hot flashes, and VTE (Venous thromboembolism). In addition to that, drug-resistant tumors put a surging need for novel, potent candidates with no or low adverse effects for ER+ BC prevention.

Objectives: This article explores the possibilities of SERMs as effective BC agents.

Methods: A detailed literature survey of the history and recent advancements of SERMs has been carried out, taking BC as the primary target. This review provides information about ER structure, signaling, pharmacological action, chemical classification with SAR analysis, and benefits and adverse effects of SERMs as potential BC agents.

Results: Exhaustive literature studies suggested that SERMs having an agonistic, antagonistic or mixed activity to ER could efficiently inhibit BC cell proliferation.

Conclusion: Each chemical class of SERMs comprises some salient features and potentials, which may be further investigated to obtain novel effective SERMs in BC therapy.


BC, ER, inhibitors, proliferation, SAR, SERMs, tamoxifen.


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