International journal of oncology

Sorafenib and nilotinib resensitize tamoxifen resistant breast cancer cells to tamoxifen treatment via estrogen receptor α.

PMID 25175082


Tamoxifen‑resistant breast cancer is a major clinical problem and new treatment strategies are highly warranted. In this study, the multitargeting kinase inhibitors sorafenib and nilotinib were investigated as potential new treatment options for tamoxifen‑resistant breast cancer. The two compounds inhibited cell growth, reduced expression of total estrogen receptor α (ER), Ser118-phosphorylated ER, FOXA1 and AIB1 and resensitized tamoxifen‑resistant cells to tamoxifen. The ER downmodulator fulvestrant exerted strong growth inhibition of tamoxifen‑resistant cells and addition of sorafenib and nilotinib could not further suppress growth, showing that sorafenib and nilotinib exerted growth inhibition via ER. In support of this, estradiol prevented sorafenib and nilotinib mediated growth inhibition. These results demonstrate that sorafenib and nilotinib act via ER and ER-associated proteins, indicating that these kinase inhibitors in combination with tamoxifen may be potential new treatments for tamoxifen‑resistant breast cancer.