Hormone resistance, invasiveness, and metastatic potential in breast cancer

Robert Clarke, Erik W. Thompson, Fabio Leonessa, Jeremy Lippman, Michael McGarvey, Thomas L. Frandsen, Nils Brünner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Critical phenotypic changes that occur during the progression of breast cancer include the loss of hormone-dependence, acquired resistance to systemic therapies, and increased metastatic potential. We have isolated a series of MCF-7 human breast cancer variants which exhibit hormone-independent growth, antiestrogen resistance, and increased metastatic potential. Analysis of the phenotypes of these variants strongly suggests that changes in the expression of specific genes may be critical to the generation of phenotypic diversity in the process of malignant progression in breast cancer. Epigenetic changes may contribute significantly to the generation of these phenotypic changes observed during breast cancer progression. Many of the characteristics of the progressed phenotypes appear to have arisen in response to appropriate selective pressures (growth in ovariectomized nude mice; growth in the presence of antiestrogens). These observations are consistent with the concept of clonal selection and expansion in the process of malignant progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-239
Number of pages13
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • antiestrogen resistance
  • clonal selection
  • epigenetic changes
  • hormone dependence
  • malignant progression
  • metastatic potential
  • selective pressure


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