Effect of a tissue selective estrogen complex on breast cancer: Role of unique properties of conjugated equine estrogen.
ABSTRACT: The Women's Health Initiative studies reported that the menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) regimen containing conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) and medroxyprogesterone acetate increased, whereas CEE alone reduced breast cancer incidence. These observations suggest the possibility that CEE might exert unique actions on breast and also suggest the need to eliminate the progestogen from MHT regimens. A MHT regimen called a tissue selective estrogen complex (TSEC), containing CEE plus bazedoxifene (BZA), to avoid the need for a progestogen, was developed and FDA approved. Our study addressed two questions regarding this TSEC: (i) whether CEE exert effects on breast cancer which differ from those of estradiol (E2 ) and (ii) whether BZA antagonize the effects of E2 and CEE on breast cancer? Two rodent models (NMU and ACI) were used to compare the effect of CEE with E2 on mammary tumor formation, proliferation and apoptosis. In both the NMU and ACI models, E2 significantly increased tumor incidence and multiplicity whereas in striking contrast CEE did not, even though the estrogenic effects of CEE and E2 on uterine weight were identical. Mechanistically E2 blocked whereas CEE stimulated apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3) in ACI animals and only E2 stimulated proliferation (Ki67). BZA exerted highly potent anti-estrogenic effects on tumors by completely blocking palpable tumor formation. These data suggest that the CEE/BZA TSEC may be a safer, breast-antagonistic, MHT agent for women and might have potential to prevent breast cancer while relieving menopausal symptoms.
Project description:Concerns about increased breast cancer risk with estrogen and progestin therapy have led to an increased interest in progestin alternatives. The main objective of this study was to determine if bazedoxifene acetate (BZA), a new selective estrogen receptor modulator, will antagonize the proliferative and transcriptional effects of conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) in the breast.As part of a 20-month preclinical trial, 95 ovariectomized cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) were randomized to receive no treatment or treatment with BZA (20 mg/d), CEE (0.45 mg/d), or BZA and CEE in combination (women's daily equivalent doses). The data presented here include breast effects after 6 months of treatment. Endpoints included histomorphometry, histopathological evaluations, gene microarray assays, polymerase chain reaction quantification of specific estrogen receptor ? (ER-?) activity markers, and immunohistochemical detection of sex steroid receptors, and the proliferation marker Ki67.BZA + CEE and BZA resulted in significantly less total epithelial density, lobular enlargement, and Ki67 immunolabeling in the terminal ducts compared with CEE alone (P < 0.05 for all). The addition of BZA to CEE antagonized the expression of ER-?-regulated genes such as GREB1 and TFF1 (P < 0.01 for both), whereas BZA alone had minimal effects on ER-?-mediated transcriptional activity. BZA and BZA + CEE did not significantly up-regulate genes related to cell cycle progression and proliferation. BZA with and without CEE also resulted in less lobular and terminal duct ER-? immunolabeling compared with control and CEE (P < 0.0001 for all).These findings demonstrate that BZA given at a clinically relevant dose is an estrogen antagonist in the breast, supporting the idea that CEE + BZA may provide a lower breast cancer risk profile compared with traditional estrogen + progestin therapies.
Project description:Concerns of breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women taking combined estrogen + progestin therapy have generated interest in the use of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) as potential progestin alternatives. Endometrial proliferation and cancer risk are major concerns, however, for estrogens and certain types of SERMs when given alone. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the endometrial profile of bazedoxifene acetate (BZA), a third-generation SERM, alone and in combination with conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) in a postmenopausal primate model.Ninety-eight ovariectomized cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were randomized to receive no hormone treatment (controls), BZA 20 mg, CEE 0.45 mg, or the combination of BZA 20 mg + CEE 0.45 mg once daily for 20 months in a parallel-arm study design. The primary outcome measure was endometrial epithelial proliferation.BZA + CEE and BZA treatment resulted in significantly less endometrial epithelial area and Ki67 expression compared with CEE (P < 0.001 for all). The prevalence of endometrial hyperplasia and other estrogen-induced morphologic changes in the BZA + CEE and BZA groups was not significantly different from controls. The addition of BZA to CEE completely inhibited the expression of estrogen receptor-?-regulated genes (TFF1 and PGR), whereas BZA alone had no effect. BZA + CEE and BZA treatment also resulted in lower estrogen receptor-? protein expression in the endometrium compared with the control and CEE groups (P < 0.05 for all).BZA given at a clinically relevant dose inhibits estrogen effects on the endometrium and lacks uterotropic effects when given alone.
Project description:Pairing the selective estrogen receptor modulator bazedoxifene (BZA) with estrogen as a tissue-selective estrogen complex (TSEC) is a novel menopausal therapy. We investigated estrogen, BZA and TSEC effects in preventing diabetisity in ovariectomized mice during high-fat feeding. Estrogen, BZA or TSEC prevented fat accumulation in adipose tissue, liver and skeletal muscle, and improved insulin resistance and glucose intolerance without stimulating uterine growth. Estrogen, BZA and TSEC improved energy homeostasis by increasing lipid oxidation and energy expenditure, and promoted insulin action by enhancing insulin-stimulated glucose disposal and suppressing hepatic glucose production. While estrogen improved metabolic homeostasis, at least partially, by increasing hepatic production of FGF21, BZA increased hepatic expression of Sirtuin1, PPAR? and AMPK activity. The metabolic benefits of BZA were lost in estrogen receptor-? deficient mice. Thus, BZA alone or in TSEC produces metabolic signals of fasting and caloric restriction and improves energy and glucose homeostasis in female mice.
Project description:Use of estrogen or estrogen/progestin combination was an approved regimen for menopausal hormonal therapy (MHT). However, more recent patient-centered studies revealed an increase in the incidence of breast cancer in women receiving menopausal hormone therapy with estrogen plus progestin rather than estrogen alone. Tissue selective estrogen complex (TSEC) has been proposed to eliminate the progesterone component of MHT with supporting evidences. Based on our previous studies it is evident that SPRMs have a safer profile on endometrium in preventing unopposed estrogenicity. We hypothesized that a combination of estradiol (E2) with selective progesterone receptor modulator (SPRM) to exert a safer profile on endometrium will also reduce mammary gland proliferation and could be used to prevent breast cancer when used in MHT. In order to test our hypothesis, we compared the estradiol alone or in combination with our novel SPRMs, EC312 and EC313. The compounds were effectively controlled E2 mediated cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in T47D breast cancer cells. The observed effects were found comparable that of BZD in vitro. The effects of SPRMs were confirmed by receptor binding studies as well as gene and protein expression studies. Proliferation markers were found downregulated with EC312/313 treatment in vitro and reduced E2 induced mammary gland proliferation, evidenced as reduced ductal branching and terminal end bud growth in vivo. These data supporting our hypothesis that E2+EC312/EC313 blocked the estrogen action may provide basic rationale to further test the clinical efficacy of SPRMs to prevent breast cancer incidence in postmenopausal women undergoing MHT.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To examine associations of estrogen preparations with an index of health risks versus benefits. METHODS:Using data from 45,112 participants of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study (average follow-up 5.5 years), we examined associations of estrogen type and oral conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) dose with time to first global index event (GIE), defined as coronary heart disease, breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism, hip fracture, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, or death. RESULTS:Oral CEE less than 0.625?mg/d?+?progestogen (P) users had a lower risk of a GIE (adjusted hazard ratio 0.74, 95% confidence interval 0.56-0.97) than oral CEE 0.625?mg/d?+?P users. GIE risk in oral CEE 0.625?mg/d?+?P users was greater with at least 5-year use (adjusted hazard ratio 1.22, 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.41) than with less than 5-year use. In women with prior hysterectomy, compared with women taking oral CEE 0.625?mg/d for less than 5 years, GIE risk was similar with oral CEE below 0.625?mg/d, oral estradiol (E2), and transdermal E2, whether used for less than 5 years or for at least 5 years. There was no difference in GIE risk between users of the following: oral CEE?+?P versus oral E2?+?P; oral CEE?+?P versus transdermal E2?+?P; oral E2?+?P versus transdermal E2?+?P. Findings were similar among women with hysterectomy taking estrogen alone. CONCLUSIONS:The summary index of risks versus benefits was similar for oral CEE versus oral or transdermal E2-containing regimens. CEE?+?P containing less than 0.625?mg/d of CEE (vs 0.625?mg/d) for less than 5 years appeared safer.
Project description:Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) increases breast cancer risk; however, most cohort studies omit MHT use after enrolment and many infer menopausal age.We used information from serial questionnaires from the UK Generations Study cohort to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for breast cancer among post-menopausal women with known menopausal age, and examined biases induced when not updating data on MHT use and including women with inferred menopausal age.Among women recruited in 2003-2009, at 6 years of follow-up, 58?148 had reached menopause and 96% had completed a follow-up questionnaire. Among 39?183 women with known menopausal age, 775 developed breast cancer, and the HR in relation to current oestrogen plus progestogen MHT use (based on 52 current oestrogen plus progestogen MHT users in breast cancer cases) relative to those with no previous MHT use was 2.74 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.05-3.65) for a median duration of 5.4 years of current use, reaching 3.27 (95% CI: 1.53-6.99) at 15+ years of use. The excess HR was underestimated by 53% if oestrogen plus progestogen MHT use was not updated after recruitment, 13% if women with uncertain menopausal age were included, and 59% if both applied. The HR for oestrogen-only MHT was not increased (HR=1.00; 95% CI: 0.66-1.54).Lack of updating MHT status through follow-up and inclusion of women with inferred menopausal age is likely to result in substantial underestimation of the excess relative risks for oestrogen plus progestogen MHT use in studies with long follow-up, limited updating of exposures, and changing or short durations of use.
Project description:Increased risk of breast cancer is a critical side effect associated with the use of a menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). Estetrol (E4) is a natural estrogen produced by the human fetal liver and is a promising compound for clinical use in MHT. However, its impact on breast cancer is controversial and poorly defined. In this preclinical study, we show that E4 acts as a weak estrogen by stimulating the growth of hormone-dependent breast cancer only at concentrations exceeding menopausal therapeutic needs. E4 presents also an antitumor activity by decreasing the strong proliferative effect of estradiol (E2). While estrogen receptor alpha (ER?) is the predominant receptor mediating its effects, the dual weak-estrogenic/anti-estrogenic feature of E4 results from differential signaling pathways activation. Both nuclear and rapid extra-nuclear signaling pathway are necessary for a complete estrogenic effect of E4. However, the antitumor action of E4 is not due to a capacity to antagonize E2-induced nuclear activity. Altogether, our results highlight that E4 has a limited impact on breast cancer and may offer a safe therapeutic window for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Alterations in sleep quality and metabolism during menopause are improved by menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). The mechanisms mediating these effects remain unclear. Orexin A (OxA) is a neuro-peptide that regulates sleep/wakefulness, food intake and metabolism. This study examined changes in plasma OxA levels during and after treatment in women from the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS).<h4>Methods</h4>KEEPS randomized women within three years of menopause to: oral conjugated equine estrogen (o-CEE, 0.45mg/day), transdermal 17? estradiol (t-E2, 50?g/day), or placebo pills and patches for four years. Plasma OxA levels were measured by enzyme immunoassays in fasting blood samples collected annually from KEEPS participants at Mayo Clinic during and three years after MHT. Changes in menopausal symptoms and plasma OxA levels were assessed for treatment differences.<h4>Results</h4>During treatment, OxA levels increased more in women randomized to o-CEE compared with the other groups. Women randomized to either form of MHT demonstrated smaller increases in BMI than those on placebo. Insomnia severity decreased similarly among treatment groups. However, neither changes in sleep nor changes in BMI correlated with changes in plasma OxA levels. Changes in waist circumference correlated positively with changes in plasma OxA levels three years after discontinuation of study treatments.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Although OxA levels increased only in women randomized to o-CEE, these changes did not correlate with changes in sleep quality or BMI. The modest correlation of OxA levels with waist circumference once study treatments were discontinued suggests that OxA may be modulated through multiple intermediary pathways affected by metabolites of 17?-estradiol. Clinical Trial Registration for KEEPS: NCT00154180.
Project description:Context:Studies suggest that menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) prevents type 2 diabetes (T2D). The combination of conjugated estrogens (CE) with the selective estrogen receptor modulator bazedoxifene (BZA) is an MHT that improves obesity and T2D in preclinical models of menopausal metabolic syndrome. The effect of CE/BZA on adiposity and glucose homeostasis in obese postmenopausal women is unknown. Objective:To investigate the effect of CE/BZA on body composition, glucose homeostasis, and markers of inflammation in obese postmenopausal women. Research Design Intervention and Participants:Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial of 12 obese menopausal women assigned to 12-week treatment with CE 0.45 mg/BZA 20 mg (n = 7) or placebo (n = 5). At baseline and after 12 weeks, we assessed body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), glucose homeostasis (IV glucose tolerance test), and inflammation biomarkers. Results:Women treated with CE/BZA exhibited increased ? cell function using homeostatic model assessment-B [median (interquartile range) CE/BZA vs placebo: 18.5 (-0.9 to 320.6) ?U/mM vs -25.5 (-39.9 to -0.1) ?U/mM; P = 0.045], and decreased basal glucose concentrations (Gb) [-5.2 (-9.2 to -1.7) mg/dL vs 2.7 (0.9 to 4.9) mg/dL; P = 0.029]. Insulin sensitivity was higher in the placebo arm [1.35 (1.12 to 1.82) (?U/mL) min-1 vs -0.24 (-1.50 to 0.19) (?U/mL) min-1; P = 0.029]. No changes between treatment groups were observed for the acute insulin response to glucose (AIRg), the disposition index (DI), body composition, and inflammatory biomarkers. Conclusions:A 12-week treatment of obese postmenopausal women with CEs/BZA improves fasting ? cell function and glucose concentrations without change in AIRg, HOMA-IR, DI, body composition, or markers of inflammation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) reportedly increases the risk of cognitive decline in women over age 65 y. It is unknown whether similar risks exist for recently postmenopausal women, and whether MHT affects mood in younger women. The ancillary Cognitive and Affective Study (KEEPS-Cog) of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) examined the effects of up to 4 y of MHT on cognition and mood in recently postmenopausal women.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>KEEPS, a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, was conducted at nine US academic centers. Of the 727 women enrolled in KEEPS, 693 (95.3%) participated in the ancillary KEEPS-Cog, with 220 women randomized to receive 4 y of 0.45 mg/d oral conjugated equine estrogens (o-CEE) plus 200 mg/d micronized progesterone (m-P) for the first 12 d of each month, 211 women randomized to receive 50 ?g/d transdermal estradiol (t-E2) plus 200 mg/d m-P for the first 12 d of each month, and 262 women randomized to receive placebo pills and patches. Primary outcomes included the Modified Mini-Mental State examination; four cognitive factors: verbal learning/memory, auditory attention/working memory, visual attention/executive function, and speeded language/mental flexibility; and a mood measure, the Profile of Mood States (POMS). MHT effects were analyzed using linear mixed-effects (LME) models, which make full use of all available data from each participant, including those with missing data. Data from those with and without full data were compared to assess for potential biases resulting from missing observations. For statistically significant results, we calculated effect sizes (ESs) to evaluate the magnitude of changes. On average, participants were 52.6 y old, and 1.4 y past their last menstrual period. By month 48, 169 (24.4%) and 158 (22.8%) of the 693 women who consented for ancillary KEEPS-Cog were lost to follow-up for cognitive assessment (3MS and cognitive factors) and mood evaluations (POMS), respectively. However, because LME models make full use all available data, including data from women with missing data, 95.5% of participants were included in the final analysis (n = 662 in cognitive analyses, and n = 661 in mood analyses). To be included in analyses, women must have provided baseline data, and data from at least one post-baseline visit. The mean length of follow-up was 2.85 y (standard deviation [SD] = 0.49) for cognitive outcomes and 2.76 (SD = 0.57) for mood outcomes. No treatment-related benefits were found on cognitive outcomes. For mood, model estimates indicated that women treated with o-CEE showed improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms over the 48 mo of treatment, compared to women on placebo. The model estimate for the depression subscale was -5.36 × 10(-2) (95% CI, -8.27 × 10(-2) to -2.44 × 10(-2); ES = 0.49, p < 0.001) and for the anxiety subscale was -3.01 × 10(-2) (95% CI, -5.09 × 10(-2) to -9.34 × 10(-3); ES = 0.26, p < 0.001). Mood outcomes for women randomized to t-E2 were similar to those for women on placebo. Importantly, the KEEPS-Cog results cannot be extrapolated to treatment longer than 4 y.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The KEEPS-Cog findings suggest that for recently postmenopausal women, MHT did not alter cognition as hypothesized. However, beneficial mood effects with small to medium ESs were noted with 4 y of o-CEE, but not with 4 y of t-E2. The generalizability of these findings is limited to recently postmenopausal women with low cardiovascular risk profiles.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00154180 and NCT00623311.