China Oncology ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (2): 81-89.doi: 10.19401/j.cnki.1007-3639.2021.02.001

• Specialists’ Commentary and Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research progress of resistance to aromatase inhibitor therapy in breast cancer

LI Zhijun, XU Binghe#br#   

  1. Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/ Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100021, China
  • Online:2021-02-28 Published:2021-03-02
  • Contact: XU Binghe E-mail:

Abstract: Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies in women. About 70% of patients are estrogen receptor (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR) positive. Endocrine therapy is one of the main treatments for hormone receptor (HR) positive breast cancer. In recent decades, endocrine therapy drugs have been continuously innovated and applied in clinical practice, the risk of recurrence/metastasis of breast cancer patients has been significantly reduced, and the prognosis has been greatly improved. Among them, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) play an important role in endocrine therapy for breast cancer. However, a large number of patients develop either primary or secondary endocrine therapy drug resistance. Therefore, it is very important to overcome endocrine therapy drug resistance to further improve clinical efficacy. This article reviewed the mechanisms and the latest research progress of drug resistance in HR-positive breast cancer after prior AI therapy from the aspects of genetics, epigenetics and intracellular signal transduction pathways, so as to provide some guidance for clinical diagnosis, treatment and scientific research.

Key words: Breast neoplasm, Aromatase inhibitor, Resistance, Mechanism, Therapy