Chapter 15

New Tamoxifen-based Strategies in Cancer Research

Claudia Rivera-Guevara, Alma Y. Vázquez-Sánchez and Javier Camacho

Abstract

A major challenge in cancer research is the discovery of drugs with high selectivity and only minor side effects. Tamoxifen has been widely used for more than 30 years in breast cancer treatment and prevention, and it acts primarily via oestrogen receptors (ERs). However, it also displays anti-tumour activity in ER-negative breast cancer, suggesting that tamoxifen targets other proteins. Indeed, tamoxifen has effects on several signal transduction pathways and ion channels, which are involved in tumor progression; these targets of tamoxifen with antitumor potential can be targeted in the search for more effective drugs. Despite the successful use of tamoxifen, it produces some undesirable side effects by acting on different targets, many of which have not been clarified. Thus, several strategies have been proposed to increase the effectiveness of tamoxifen. These strategies include the synthesis of compounds with chemical structures analogous to tamoxifen as well as different routes of administration for this group of compounds and the use of tamoxifen in combination with other antineoplastic drugs. This chapter will first briefly describe the current and general aspects of tamoxifen and will then focus more in depth on various patented analogues, patented uses of tamoxifen, and patented combinations of tamoxifen with other antineoplastic drugs. We also discuss the biological effects of tamoxifen and its therapeutic targets. This chapter provides an updated look at current tamoxifen-based therapies and new strategies for using tamoxifen to benefit cancer patients.

Total Pages: 552-580 (29)

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