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PURPOSE: Steroid sulfatase (STS) inhibitors that can decrease or prevent the biosynthesis of estrogenic steroids via the sulfatase route may play an important role in the treatment of breast cancer. We compare the in vivo efficacy of two potent STS inhibitors, STX64 and STX213, in a xenograft breast cancer model. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: MCF-7 cells stably expressing STS cDNA (MCF-7STS) were generated. Ovariectomized MF-1 female nude mice receiving s.c. injections of estradiol sulfate (E2S) and bearing both MCF-7STS and wild-type MCF-7 (MCF-7WT) tumors were orally treated with STX64 and STX213. Treatment was given for 49 days followed by a recovery period of 35 days in which animals received only E2S. Mice were weighed, and tumor measurements were taken weekly. RESULTS: STX64 and STX213 exhibited potent STS inhibition in vivo. However, STX213 showed a greater duration of activity. In vehicle-treated nude mice receiving E2S, tumor volumes increased 5.5-fold for MCF-7WT and 3.8-fold for MCF-7STS after 49 days compared with day 0. MCF-7WT tumor growth was reduced by 56% by STX213 over the dosing period, and subsequent growth was retarded during the recovery period. All treatments fully inhibited growth of MCF-7STS tumors, and recovery of these tumors was significantly retarded (P<0.01). All compounds completely inhibited liver and tumor STS activity. Additionally, STS mRNA expression in the MCF-7STS tumors directly correlated with the corresponding STS enzyme activity. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that STS inhibitors attenuate hormone-dependent human breast cancer growth and therefore offer a potentially novel treatment for this condition.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Cancer Res

Publication Date





5543 - 5549


Animals, Azasteroids, Breast Neoplasms, Enzyme Inhibitors, Estradiol, Female, Humans, Liver, Mice, Mice, Nude, Models, Biological, Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent, RNA, Messenger, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Steryl-Sulfatase, Tissue Distribution, Treatment Outcome, Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays