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Bionovo Announces Publication of Data on Potential Increase in Breast Cancer Risk Due to the Inhibitory Effect of Tamoxifen Treatment on Estrogen Receptor Beta
Date:10/20/2009

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bionovo Inc. (Nasdaq: BNVI) announced today the publication of results from its study on the inhibitory effect of tamoxifen on estrogen receptor beta (ERb) gene regulation. The results of the study, which will be published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, demonstrate that tamoxifen inhibits the beneficial effects of ERb in the prevention of breast cancer cell proliferation.

"Tamoxifen has been successfully used to treat and prevent breast cancer. However, some breast tumors become resistant to its effects. So, it is critical to discover new estrogens that work through a different mechanism," stated Dr. Dale Leitman, the Principal Investigator of the study. "In this publication, we demonstrate that genes regulated by estrogen receptor beta, which has the positive effect of preventing the growth of breast cancer cells, are directly inhibited by tamoxifen. The inhibition of the beneficial effect of ERb in breast cancer cells could potentially lead to unwanted outcomes for breast cancer patients who are treated with tamoxifen."

Since the discovery of ERb, various studies have demonstrated that this receptor plays an important role in preventing breast cancer cell proliferation and tumor formation. These studies indicate that ERb is an important therapeutic target for drugs in development for breast cancer treatment and prevention. It has also been shown that approximately 40% of breast tumors express ERb, which suggests that this large subset of tumors could be inhibited by selective ERb drugs. This publication describes the effect of tamoxifen on hormone independent regulation of genes by ERb that are important in preventing the proliferation of breast cancer cells. The study shows that the pattern of gene expression by ligand independent regulation by ERb is inhibited
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SOURCE Bionovo, Inc.
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