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Role of progesterone receptors in breast cancer

Author(s): Sofia Raposo

Journal: Acta Obstetrica e Ginecologia Portuguesa
ISSN 1646-5830

Prolonged hormonal exposure has for long been reported as an important risk factor for the development of breast cancer. Early menarche, late menopause, late first pregnancy, and post menopausal obesity have consistently been associated with a higher incidence and prevalence of breast neoplasms. The role of oestrogens is well defined in this situation, but that of progestins is less clear. Oestrogen and progesterone receptors (ER and PR) are valuable predictive factors for hormonal therapy response, and PR have an additional prognostic value, as they identify tumors that present a better response to aromatase inhibitors. On the other hand, PR are usually negative in breast cancer metastases, as these usually present more aggressive phenotypes and more complex molecular changes. PR have been reported to constitute important factors in the process of carcinogenesis and tumor progression, blocking the inflammatory response pathway and, consequently, slowing tumor evolution and metastases formation.
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