Growth regulation of human breast carcinoma occurs through regulated growth factor secretion
We describe studies on human breast cancer in which it is shown that specific growth factors (IGF-I, TGF alpha, PDGF) are secreted by human breast cancer cells and likely to be involved in tumor growth and progression. These activities are regulated by estradiol in hormone-dependent breast cancer and secreted constitutively by hormone-independent cells. These growth factor activities can induce the growth of hormone-dependent cells in vivo in athymic nude mice. Hormone-dependent breast cancer cells also secrete TGF beta, a growth-inhibitory substance, when treated with antiestrogens. TGF beta functions as a negative autocrine growth regulator and is responsible for some of the growth-inhibitory effects of antiestrogens.