Progestins inhibit the growth of MDA-MB-231 cells transfected with progesterone receptor complementary DNA.

Authors: Lin VC, Ng EH, Aw SE, Tan MG, Ng EH, Chan VS, Ho GH

Publication Year: 1999

Citation: Clin Cancer Res 1999;5(2):395-403.

Progesterone is mainly thought to exert its effects via the estrogen-dependent progesterone receptor (PR), the effects of which may be overshadowed by the presence of estrogen. In order to study the independent effects of progesterone on breast cancer cell lines, PR expression vectors were transfected into a PR and ER negative cell line (MDA-MB-231). The growth of these cells was then studied in response to progesterone and several progestins. Progesterone was found to significantly inhibit DNA synthesis and cell growth in a dose-dependant fashion. The results of this study indicate that progesterone and progestins independent of estrogen have an antiproliferative effect on breast cancer cells via the progesterone receptor. This suggests a possible role in the treatment of PR negative breast cancer via re-activation of the PR receptor.