Approximately 70% of breast cancers express the estrogen receptor (ER) and endocrine therapy is the most important component of systemic therapy for hormone-responsive breast cancer. Unfortunately, endocrine-resistant ER-positive disease represents up to one-quarter of all breast cancers and a number of different mechanisms have been implicated in endocrine resistance, either intrinsic, occurring de novo at the initial exposure to endocrine therapies or acquired, occurring after an initial response to therapy. In the present work a number of molecular mechanisms accounting for intrinsic and acquired resistance to hormonal therapies have been reviewed and the most promising strategies to overcome endocrine resistance have been highlighted.
Keywords: Estrogen receptor, hormone resistance, breast cancer
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