Previous studies from this laboratory have described a series of 7α-alkylamide analogues of estradiol with pure antiestrogenic activity, exemplified by ICI 164,384. A new compound, 7α-[9-(4,4,5,5,5-pentafluoropentylsulfinyl)nonyl]estra-1,3,5(10)-triene-3,17β-diol (ICI 182,780) has now been identified which has significantly increased antiestrogenic potency and retains pure estrogen antagonist activity. The antiuterotrophic potency of ICI 182,780 in the immature rat was more than 10-fold greater than that of ICI 164,384 (50% effective doses of 0.06 and 0.9 mg/kg, respectively). This order of magnitude increase of in vivo potency was also reflected, in part, by intrinsic activity at the estrogen receptor. The relative binding affinities of ICI 182,780 and ICI 164,384 were 0.89 and 0.19, respectively, compared with that of estradiol (1.0). Similarly, the in vitro growth-inhibitory potency of ICI 182,780 exceeded that of ICI 164,384 in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, where 50% inhibitory concentrations of 0.29 and 1.3 nm, respectively, were recorded. ICI 182,780 was a more effective inhibitor of MCF-7 growth than 4′-hydroxytamoxifen, producing an 80% reduction of cell number under conditions where 4′-hydroxytamoxifen achieved a maximum of 50% inhibition. This increased efficacy was reflected by a greater reduction of the proportion of cells engaged in DNA synthesis in ICI 182,780-treated cell cultures compared with tamoxifen-treated cells.

Sustained antiestrogenic effects, following a single parenteral dose of ICI 182,780 in oil suspension, were apparent in both rats and pigtail monkeys. In vivo, antitumor activity of ICI 182,780 was demonstrated with xenografts of MCF-7 and Br10 human breast cancers in nude mice. A single injection of ICI 182,780 provided antitumor efficacy equivalent to that of daily tamoxifen treatment for at least 4 weeks.

The properties of ICI 182,780 identify this pure antiestrogen as a prime candidate with which to evaluate the potential therapeutic benefits of complete estrogen withdrawal in endocrine-responsive human breast cancer.

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