Estrogen receptor alfa (ERα) is expressed in approximate 70% of breast cancer (BC) which is the most common malignancy in women worldwide. To date, the foremost intervention in the treatment of ER positive (ER+) BC is still the endocrine therapy. However, resistance to endocrine therapies remains a major hurdle in the long-term management of ER + BC. Although the mechanisms underlying endocrine resistance are complex, cumulative evidence revealed that ERα still plays a critical role in driving BC tumor cells to grow in resistance state. Fulvestrant, a selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD), has moved to first line therapy for metastatic ER + BC, suggesting that removing ERα would be a useful strategy to overcome endocrine resistance. Proteolysis-Targeting Chimera (PROTAC) technology, an emerging paradigm for protein degradation, has the potential to eliminate both wild type and mutant ERα in breast cancer cells. Excitingly, ARV-471, an ERα-targeted PROTAC developed by Arvinas, has been in phase 1 clinical trials. In this review, we will summarize recent progress of ER-targeting PROTACs from publications and patents along with their therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of endocrine-resistant BC.
Keywords: Breast cancer (BC); Endocrine resistance; Estrogen receptor (ER); Proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs).
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