One successful example of using ER?? as a drug target has proven the receptor as an effective cancer cell combatant in breast cancer tissue. Closer examination of human breast cancer cell lines determined that, while ER? alone may stimulate the development of tumors, the combined presence of ER? and ER?? reduced and prevented tumor development.

"These modulators are well-established in the treatment of breast cancer and osteoporosis," Gustafsson said. "We now are pushing the limits of their influence to develop new treatments and ultimately save lives."

CNRCS researchers continue to examine the two estrogen receptor subtypes in various animal disease models, focused on identifying therapeutic opportunities. ER?? remains the most likely target for expanding treatments beyond breast cancer. The widespread involvement of ER?? presents the greatest probability for impacting these other diseases. Early results indicate that the selective activation of ER?? may represent a safe, disease-modifying therapy for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Source: University of Houston