2-hydroxyestrone: the 'good' estrogen

J Endocrinol. 1996 Sep:150 Suppl:S259-65.


The issue of the role of 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) in breast cancer has been the subject of considerable controversy as to whether it is carcinogenic or anticarcinogenic. The expanding data base outlined below is most consistent with the conclusion that 2-OHE1 is anticarcinogenic. In every experimental model in which 2-hydroxylation was increased, protection against tumors was achieved. Correspondingly, when 2-hydroxylation was decreased, an increase in cancer risk was observed. Even more dramatically, in the case of laryngeal papillomas induction of 2-hydroxylation with indole-3-carbinol (I3C) has resulted in inhibition of tumor growth during the time that the patients continue to take 13C or vegetables rich in this compound.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Estrogens, Catechol / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyestrones / metabolism*
  • Hydroxylation


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Estrogens, Catechol
  • Hydroxyestrones
  • 2-hydroxyestrone