Estrogen receptor beta in prostate cancer: friend or foe?
Nelson AW., Tilley WD., Neal DE., Carroll JS.
Prostate cancer is the commonest, non-cutaneous cancer in men. At present, there is no cure for the advanced, castration-resistant form of the disease. Estrogen has been shown to be important in prostate carcinogenesis, with evidence resulting from epidemiological, cancer cell line, human tissue and animal studies. The prostate expresses both estrogen receptor alpha (ERA) and estrogen receptor beta (ERB). Most evidence suggests that ERA mediates the harmful effects of estrogen in the prostate, whereas ERB is tumour suppressive, but trials of ERB-selective agents have not translated into improved clinical outcomes. The role of ERB in the prostate remains unclear and there is increasing evidence that isoforms of ERB may be oncogenic. Detailed study of ERB and ERB isoforms in the prostate is required to establish their cell-specific roles, in order to determine if therapies can be directed towards ERB-dependent pathways. In this review, we summarise evidence on the role of ERB in prostate cancer and highlight areas for future research.