Tamoxifen-induced antitumorigenic/antiestrogenic action synergized by a selective aryl hydrocarbon receptor modulator

A. McDougal, M. Wormke, James Arthur Calvin, S. Safe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Tamoxifen (TAM) is a highly effective selective estrogen receptor (ER) modulator used extensively for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. However, prolonged treatment of women with TAM may be a risk factor for endometrial cancer, and research in our laboratory is focused on the development of selective aryl hydrocarbon receptor modulators that can be used in combination with TAM to improve its efficacy in the breast and inhibit TAM-induced endometrial effects. This study investigated the effects of the selective aryl hydrocarbon receptor modulators 6-methyl-1,3,8-trichlorodibenzofuran (6-MCDF) alone and in combination with TAM in the carcinogen-induced mammary tumor model and in the ovariectomized uterotropic assay using female Sprague Dawley rats. The lowest effective dose of 6-MCDF that inhibited tumor growth was 50 μg/kg/day, and TAM was antitumorigenic at a dose of 100 μg/kg/day. In animals cotreated with TAM + 6-MCDF at doses of 100, 50, or 25 μg/kg/day of each compound, complete inhibition of mammary tumor growth was observed at all doses, and the results are consistent with a more than additive antitumorigenic response for the low dose group (25 + 25 μg/kg) and additive interactions at the 50 and 100 μg/kg doses. In a separate experiment, 6-MCDF (800 μg/kg) inhibited TAM-induced peroxidase activity and progesterone receptor binding in the ovariectomized rat uterus but did not affect TAM-induced bone growth in ovariectomized rats. This study also investigated the effects of TAM and 6-MCDF alone and in combination on ERα protein levels in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells as a model for studying interactions between these compounds. The results show that 6-MCDF decreased TAM-induced ERα levels in the absence or presence of 17β-estradiol through proteasome activation, and these interactions may contribute to the observed combined antitumorigenic effects of these compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3902-3907
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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