[Estrogen Receptors and their Impact for Prognosis and Therapy of Lung Cancer - New Insights to an Underestimated Mechanism]

Pneumologie. 2015 Jun;69(6):350-60. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1392081. Epub 2015 Jun 11.
[Article in German]


Though tobacco smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, during the last decades the prevalence increased in never smoking patients, especially in women. Sex steroid hormones and particularly the estrogen receptors (ERs) seem to play an important but still underestimated role in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Beside long existing hints that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases the risk of lung tumors recent analyses on cell lines, xenografts and human tumors of both sexes gave clear evidence of ER expression and proliferation in NSCLC. Most recently, the expression of ERs apparently has prognostic and predictive value. Recently, an intracellular "cross-talk" between the ER and the epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) could be demonstrated. EGFR are important targets of approved tyrosinkinases (TKIs), like gefitinib, erlotinib or afatinib. Currently, clinical studies are enrolling lung tumor patients for combination treatment with EGFR TKI and antihormonal drugs, e. g. fulvestrant.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / trends*
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptors, Estrogen