Capitalizing on the complexities of estrogen receptor pharmacology in the quest for the perfect SERM.
The term Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) has been used of late to describe a group of pharmaceuticals that manifest estrogen receptor (ER) agonist activity in some tissues, but that oppose estrogen action in others. Whereas the name describing this class of drugs is new, the concept is not. Indeed, compounds exhibiting tissue-selective ER agonist/antagonist properties have been around for nearly 40 years. What is new is the idea that it may be possible to capitalize on the paradoxical activities of these drugs and develop them as treatments for estrogenopathies where it is desirable to direct therapy to a specific estrogen-responsive target organ. This realization has provided the impetus for research in this area and has pushed the development and clinical use of this class of drugs. The objective of this review is to describe how the medical need for SERMs arose and how recent studies of the mechanism of action of the currently available drugs are paving the way for the development of novel drugs with improved selectivity.
McDonnell, DP; Chang, CY; Norris, JD
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