Aromatase and in situ estrogen production in DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) of human breast

Hironobu Sasano, Yasuhiro Miki, Rie Shibuya, Takashi Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS belongs to intraductal proliferative lesions, which are a group of cytologically and architecturally diverse ductal proliferations, typically originating from the terminal duct-lobular units. In these intraductal proliferative diseases, estrogens are considered to be involved in the progression of the disease especially from ductal non-neoplastic hyperplasia to DCIS and possibly development of invasive carcinoma from DCIS. Estrogen receptor (ER) alpha is abundantly expressed in atypical ductal hyperplasia and low grade DCIS. Suppression of estrogenic actions using tamoxifen resulted in inhibition of recurrence of DCIS and/or of progression into invasive carcinoma. Intratumoral estrogen concentration in DCIS determined by liquid chromatography/electrospray tandem mass spectrometry is significantly higher than that in non-neoplastic breast tissues with statistically not lower than that in invasive carcinoma. Aromatase mRNA expression in both stromal and parenchymal cells of DCIS determined by quantitative RT-PCR following laser capture microdissection was also much higher than that in non-neoplastic breast, although lower than that in invasive carcinoma. Immunohistochemistry of aromatase also revealed the similar patterns of immunolocalization as in invasive carcinoma. Aromatase is overexpressed in noninvasive breast malignancies including DCIS and results in elevated concentrations of intratumoral estradiol. These findings could provide the scientific rationale as to employing aromatase inhibitors in the management of ER positive DCIS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-245
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Feb 28


  • Aromatase
  • Atypical ductal hyperplasia
  • Breast
  • DCIS
  • Estrogens
  • Receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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