Oral selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs): The new emperors in breast cancer clinical practice?

Semin Oncol. 2023 Jun-Oct;50(3-5):90-101. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2023.08.002. Epub 2023 Aug 26.


Endocrine therapy (ET) targeting estrogen receptor (ER) signaling is still the mainstay treatment option for early or advanced ER-positive breast cancer (BC) and may involve suppressing estrogen production by means of aromatase inhibitors or directly blocking the ER pathway through selective estrogen receptor modulators such as tamoxifen or selective estrogen receptor degraders such as fulvestrant. However, despite the availability of this armamentarium in clinical practice, de novo or acquired resistance to ET is the main cause of endocrine-based treatment failure leading to the progression of the BC. Recent advances in targeting, modulating, and degrading ERs have led to the development of new drugs capable of overcoming intrinsic or acquired ET resistance related to alterations in the ESR1 gene. The new oral selective estrogen receptor degraders, which are capable of reducing ER protein expression and blocking estrogen-dependent and -independent ER signaling, have a broader spectrum of activity against ESR1 mutations and seem to be a promising means of overcoming the failure of standard ET. The aim of this review is to summarize the development of oral selective estrogen receptor degraders, their current status, and their future perspectives.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Endocrine therapy; Estrogen receptors; Selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs).

Publication types

  • Review