<p>Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) occur more frequently in younger women and do not express estrogen receptor (ER) nor progesterone receptor (PR), and are therefore often consid-ered hormone-insensitive. Treatment of premenopausal TNBC patients almost always includes chemotherapy, which may lead to premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) and can severely impact quality of life. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is contraindicated for patients with a history of hormone-sensitive breast cancer, but the data on safety for TNBC patients is inconclusive, with a few randomized trials showing increased risk-ratios with wide confidence intervals for recurrence after HRT. Here, we review the literature on alternative pathways from the classical ER/PR. We find that for both estrogens and progestogens, potential alternatives exist for exerting their effects on TNBC, ranging from receptor conversion, to alternative receptors capable of binding estrogens, as well as paracrine pathways, such as RANK/RANKL, which can cause progestogens to indirectly stimulate growth and metastasis of TNBC. Finally, HRT may also influence other hormones, such as androgens, and their effects on TNBCs expressing androgen receptors (AR). Concluding, the assumption that TNBC is completely hormone-insensitive is incorrect. However, the direction of the effects of the alternative pathways is not always clear, and will need to be investigated further.</p>

doi.org/10.3390/cancers13112506, hdl.handle.net/1765/136938
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

M (Mark) van Barele, B.A.M. (Annette) Heemskerk - Gerritsen, Y.V. (Yvonne) Louwers, MB Vastbinder, J.W.M. (John) Martens, M.J. (Maartje) Hooning, & A. (Agnes) Jager. (2021). Estrogens and progestogens in triple negative breast cancer. Cancers (Vol. 13). doi:10.3390/cancers13112506