Young Choi MD
Professor of Pathology and of Laboratory Medicine; Director, Bridgeport Hospital Clinical Laboratories
Immunopathology; Molecular Pathology; Cytopathology and Clinical Pathology; Breast Cancer; Immunopathology; Molecular Pathology; Immunopathology; Molecular Pathology
One of the major treatment tools for breast cancer is antiestrogen treatment against estrogen Receptor-alpha (ERa) and it is the accepted therapeutic prognostic marker to predict the response of an individual breast cancer to antiestrogen therapy. However, approximately 50% of ERa positive breast cancers are de novo resistant to selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and many breast cancers acquire tamoxifen (Tam) resistance during progression due to de novo and acquired resistance to tamoxifen and seriously limit the efficacy of this treatment. The reasons for this lack of response are poorly understood. One of the mechanisms may be related to the second receptor ER-beta. I am pursuing the receptor to determine a possible targeted therapy for breast cancer.
Extensive Research Description
Currently, ERa is the main therapeutic and prognostic marker for breast cancer but about 30% do not respond to the antiestrogens. Some studies have shown that ERb isoforms are predictive marker to antiestrogens. ERb isoforms also are significantly expressed in ERa negative tumors. Thus, ERb may be the potential targeted therapy in some ERa and ERa negative breast cancers. ERb isoforms mRNA by qPCR and protein expression by immunohistochemistry will be tested in both ERa positive and ERa negative breast cancer tissues, and also breast cancer cell lines (BCC). Then BCC will be subjected to estrogens and different antiestrogens to determine their responses, and their effects and analyzed for their potential therapeutic effects. We hypothesize that ERß will eventually play an important role in controlling growth of breast cancers. We believe that ERb isoforms may be new potential therapeutic targets to the patients with non-responder to the current available ERa targeted antiestrogen therapy, and also ERa negative breast cancers who have not received the benefit of the current antiestrogen therapy.