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In situ oestrone synthesis in normal breast and breast tumour tissues: effect of treatment with 4-hydroxyandrostenedione.

Authors
  • Reed, M J
  • Owen, A M
  • Lai, L C
  • Coldham, N G
  • Ghilchik, M W
  • Shaikh, N A
  • James, V H
Type
Published Article
Journal
International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer
Publication Date
Aug 15, 1989
Volume
44
Issue
2
Pages
233–237
Identifiers
PMID: 2759729
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

An isotopic infusion technique has been used in an attempt to determine the contribution that local, in situ, oestrone synthesis makes to the oestrogen content of breast tumours. 3H-Androstenedione and 14C-oestrone were infused into women with advanced breast cancer for 12 hr before operation. At surgery, normal breast and breast tumour biopsy samples were obtained and 3H-androstenedione, 3H-oestrone derived from 3H-androstenedione and 14C-oestrone were isolated and measured. DNA polymerase alpha activity, a marker of cellular proliferation, was also measured to examine whether local synthesis of oestrone exerted a biological effect. The study was repeated after patients had been treated with the aromatase inhibitor, 4-hydroxyandrostenedione, before undergoing further surgery for removal of their tumours. In 4/6 tumours examined, in situ synthesis of 3H-oestrone from 3H-androstenedione accounted for the major part (84.3 +/- 9.0%) of the 3H-oestrone detected, while no significant in situ synthesis occurred in 2 other tumours. Although treatment with 4-hydroxyandrostenedione did not significantly alter the uptake of 3H-androstenedione or 14C-oestrone into breast tissues, in situ formation of 3H-oestrone was only detected in one tumour sample after treatment. DNA polymerase alpha activity decreased in 4/6 tumours after treatment with 4-hydroxyandrostenedione. Overall, however, there was no significant correlation between the level of 3H-oestrone formed in situ and DNA polymerase alpha activity (r = 0.38, NS). It is concluded that in some, but not all, breast tumours in situ formation of oestrone can make an important contribution to the oestrogen content of breast tumours.

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