Estrogen Receptor Beta and Cancer

Last week, a symposium held in Stockholm reviewed the biological effects of estrogen receptor beta. Striking among the presentations was a dual role of this receptor isoform in the regulation of cell growth: decreasing proliferation in the prostate, breast and colon (and hence a potential anti-cancer effect); and increasing proliferation in the hippocampus (and hence potentially improving certain types of cognitive function).  The role in physiology of this receptor subtype, discovered in 1996, is likely to continue to evolve and will potentially yield new, improved, and specific forms of treatment for an array of disorders.

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