ESR1 promoter hypermethylation does not predict atypia in RPFNA nor persistent atypia after 12 months tamoxifen chemoprevention

Julie H. Ostrander, Joseph C. Baker, Siya Lem, Gloria Broadwater, Gregory R. Bean, Nicholas C. D'Amato, Vanessa K. Goldenberg, Craig Rowell, Catherine Ibarra-Drendall, Tracey Grant, Patrick G. Pilie, Shauna N. Vasilatos, Michelle M. Troch, Victoria Scott, Lee G. Wilke, Carolyn Paisie, Sarah M. Rabiner, Alejandro Torres-Hernandez, Carola M. Zalles, Victoria L. Seewaldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: Currently, we lack biomarkers to predict whether high-risk women with mammary atypia will respond to tamoxifen chemoprevention. Experimental Design: Thirty-four women with cytologic mammary atypia from the Duke University High-Risk clinic were offered tamoxifen chemoprevention. We tested whether ESR1 promoter hypermethylation and/or estrogen receptor (ER) protein expression by immunohistochemistry predicted persistent atypia in 18 women who were treated with tamoxifen for 12 months and in 16 untreated controls. Results: We observed a statistically significant decrease in the Masood score of women on tamoxifen chemoprevention for 12 months compared with controlwomen. This was a significant interaction effect of time (0, 6, and 12 months) and treatment group (tamoxifen versus control) P = 0.0007. However, neither ESR1 promoter hypermethylation nor low ER expression predicted persistent atypia in Random Periareolar Fine Needle Aspiration after 12 months tamoxifen prevention. Conclusions: Results from this single institution pilot study provide evidence that, unlike for invasive breast cancer, ESR1 promoter hypermethylation and/or low ER expression is not a reliable marker of tamoxifen-resistant atypia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1884-1890
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008


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