Effect of 17 beta-oestradiol on growth curves and flow cytometric DNA distribution of two human breast carcinomas grown in nude mice

Br J Cancer. 1983 May;47(5):641-7. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1983.102.


The effect of 17 beta-oestradiol on a "receptor positive" and on a "receptor negative" human breast carcinoma grown in nude mice was studied. Experimental growth data were used to determine the effect on tumour growth. Flow cytometric DNA analysis (FCM) performed on tumour tissue obtained by sequential fine-needle aspirations was used to estimate the effect on the cell cycle. In the receptor-positive breast carcinoma, oestradiol induced complete tumour regression and characteristic cell cycle changes. In the receptor-negative breast carcinoma, no changes in tumour growth and cell cycle distribution could be demonstrated following the treatment. The results indicate that the oestradiol-induced cell kill could be explained to some extent by the induction of polyploid cells, which eventually die. Since the cell cycle changes monitored by FCM in the receptor-positive breast carcinoma appeared prior to any reduction in the tumour size, the results suggest that FCM may prove a valuable method in the early detection of tumour response to hormone treatment in human breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Cycle
  • DNA, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Estradiol / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Estradiol