Tamoxifen stimulates in vivo growth of drug-resistant estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer

Juhani Maenpaa, Valerie Wiebe, Steven Koester, Gregory Wurz, Vernon Emshoff, Robert Seymour, Pirkko Sipila, Michael DeGregorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


An estrogen receptor-negative, multidrug-resistant MDA-MB-A1 human breast cancer cell line was grown in culture with and without a noninhibitory concentration (0.5 μM) of tamoxifen for 122 days. Tamoxifentreated and control cells were inoculated into opposite flanks of nine nude mice, where they produced measurable tumors in every case. Six of the animals were treated with tamoxifen at 500 μg/day for 22 days. Although no inhibitory nor stimulatory effect of tamoxifen was seen in vitro, tamoxifen had a clear tumor-growth-stimulating effect in mice. The most pronounced stimulatory effects were observed in the cells that had been cultured with tamoxifen. Within 3 weeks of the start of tamoxifen therapy, the cells grown in the presence of tamoxifen produced tumors with a mean size of 380 mm2, whereas the cells not pretreated with tamoxifen had tumors of 220 mm2. In contrast, in mice not receiving tamoxifen, the sizes of the tumors were 190 and 140 mm2, respectively. These preliminary results suggest that prolonged in vitro tamoxifen exposure induces cellular changes that result in tumors that are stimulated to grow faster in mice following tamoxifen treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-398
Number of pages3
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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