From bench to bedside: future potential for the translation of prolactin inhibitors as breast cancer therapeutics

J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2008 Mar;13(1):147-56. doi: 10.1007/s10911-008-9074-8. Epub 2008 Feb 2.


A role for prolactin (PRL) in the pathogenesis of breast cancer has been confirmed at the cellular level in vitro, with multiple transgenic and knockout models in vivo, and within sizable patient populations through epidemiologic analysis. It is the obvious "next step" that these findings are translated into meaningful therapies to block PRL/PRLr function in human breast cancer. Several broad categories of PRL/PRLr antagonists are discussed in their pre-clinical context, including inhibitors of endocrine PRL elaboration, mutant ligand antagonists, ligand chimeras, and inhibitors of PRL-induced signaling and transactivation. The clinical potential for GHr antagonists are also discussed. These varied approaches all have demonstrated as proof-of-principle that PRL/PRLr antagonism can inhibit the in vitro and in vivo growth of breast cancer. Further pre-clinical development is required for most, however, before translation to clinical trials in breast cancer patients can occur.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / immunology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Endocrine System / drug effects
  • Endocrine System / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Prolactin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Prolactin / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Prolactin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Prolactin / genetics
  • Receptors, Prolactin / immunology
  • Receptors, Prolactin / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Receptors, Prolactin
  • Prolactin