Tamoxifen is an antagonist of the estrogen receptor in breast tissue and is therefore used in the treatment of breast cancer. As of 2004, it was the world's largest selling drug for that purpose.
Some breast cancer cells require estrogen to grow. Estrogen binds to and activates the estrogen receptor in these cells. Tamoxifen is metabolized into compounds that also bind to the estrogen receptor but do not activate it. Furthermore tamoxifen prevents estrogen from binding to its receptor. Hence breast cancer cell growth is blocked.
Tamoxifen was discovered by ICI Pharmaceuticals (now AstraZeneca) and is sold under the trade names Nolvadex, Istubal, and Valodex. However, the drug, even before its patent expiration, was and still is widely referred to by its generic name "tamoxifen."
Subscribe to rss feed