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A cheerful senior African American woman, wearing a pink ribbon on the left side of her chest, smiles as she attends an outdoor breast cancer awareness event.
The orally administered drug enobosarm stimulates androgen receptor activity in breast cancers.

Androgen Receptor Modulator Drug Could Improve Breast Cancer

Phase 2 trial results indicate benefits of the new way of treating advanced ER+ breast cancer

University of Liverpool
Published:Feb 09, 2024
|1 min read
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A study published recently in The Lancet Oncology demonstrates that the drug enobosarm, a selective androgen receptor modulator that stimulates the male sex hormone receptor, has antitumor effects in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer patients.

Lead author Carlo Palmieri, MBBS, PhD, FRCP, professor at the University of Liverpool and The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “These results are very encouraging—we have shown that in advanced/metastatic breast cancer the use of enobosarm can result in clinical benefit, and is the first clinical proof that a non-estrogen receptor approach with a selective androgen receptor modulator can result in clinical benefit. This builds on the preclinical evidence that we published in Nature Medicine.”

For at least 40 years, treatment of this type of breast cancer has focused on directly targeting and inhibiting the activity of the estrogen receptor. This new study, therefore, tested a completely different approach.

The non-estrogen receptor route

The orally administered drug enobosarm is a selective androgen receptor modulator, which can stimulate androgen receptor activity in breast cancers. The androgen receptor is a tumor suppressor in ER+ breast cancer.

The multisite international study led by Beth Overmoyer, MD, FACP, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, evaluated the efficacy and safety of enobosarm in 136 postmenopausal women with locally advanced or metastatic ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer. 

Enobosarm was found to have antitumor effects and was well-tolerated with no significant impact on quality of life. “These data support further development and assessment of the efficacy of enobosarm and other agents which stimulate the androgen receptor for the treatment of AR-positive, ER-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer,” said the authors.

- This press release was originally published on the University of Liverpool website