The discovery of ERbeta in the middle of the 1990s represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of estrogen signaling. It has turned out that estrogen action is not mediated by one receptor, ERalpha, but by two balancing factors, ERalpha and ERbeta, which are often antagonistic to one another. Excitingly, ERbeta has been shown to be widespread in the body and to be involved in a multitude of physiological and pathophysiological events. This has led to a strong interest of the pharmaceutical industry to target ERbeta by drugs against various diseases. In this review, focus is on the role of ERbeta in malignant diseases where the anti proliferative activity of ERbeta gives hope of new therapeutic approaches.
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