About this Research Topic
Sex steroid hormones are key players in breast cancer (BC). Their role, particularly that of estrogen, has been extensively investigated in BC patients, hence estrogen deprivation or antagonism has been the standard endocrine therapy of BC for many years. However, little is known about the exact contribution of different sex steroids including estrogens, progestogens, androgens and their metabolites to BC susceptibility and how their effect on breast epithelial or stromal cells may modulate BC risk. Furthermore, BC is a heterogeneous disease, and it remains uncertain to what extent sex steroid hormones may affect the etiology and risk for developing specific tumor subtypes. Are there critical levels of sex steroid hormones that can be linked to the initiation of the carcinogenic process? Would it be useful to monitor their level in the healthy breast tissue? And, which methods should be employed for the accurate quantification of tissue sex steroids that best reflect the complex intracrine mechanism of local hormonal synthesis? Moreover, which environmental and genetic factors regulate hormone levels among pre- and post-menopausal women?
By addressing these and other questions, we hope to stimulate a focused discussion and to introduce new evidence related to the contribution of sex steroid hormones to the risk of BC in healthy women.
Scope and information for authors
Basic science, translational and clinical manuscripts are welcome. Original research papers as well as reviews that add value to our previous knowledge can be submitted.
The following are specific themes to be addressed:
• Role of various estrogens, estrogen metabolites, and aromatase in BC susceptibility
• Role of progesterone and synthetic progestins in BC susceptibility
• Role played by androgens in modulating the susceptibility to BC
• Interaction of sex steroid hormones with other BC risk factors, for example, the hereditary and familial susceptibility as well as other biomarkers of BC susceptibility. e.g., mammographic breast density
• Correlation between breast tissue levels of sex steroid hormones and their circulatory concentrations.
• Methods for quantification of tissue levels of sex steroid hormones
• Effect of sex steroid hormones on normal breast epithelial cells, particularly progenitor/stem cells, and on breast stromal cells, such as fibroblasts and immune cells
• Preventive strategies that modulate sex steroid hormones to reduce BC risk
Keywords: Breast cancer risk, susceptibility, predisposition, sex steroids, estrogen, progesterone, androgens.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.