Today we went back to our regular PSS groups. We were discussing regulation of signaling pathways in relation to transcription factors. Most of the questions in our problem set were about estrogen receptors and tamoxifen, which made for a pretty interesting session. One interesting thing that I learned today is that tamoxifen can also be used in men who have breast cancer, assuming that their tumors are estrogen-dependent. Also, I hadn't ever considered this before, but somehow tamoxifen is selective for estrogen receptors in the breasts. This may not sound all that amazing, but it is when you consider that when a patient takes a dose of tamoxifen, it goes all over their body. It's not like the drug molecules "know" that they're only supposed to go to the breasts, and there are lots of other cell types all over the body that have receptors for estrogen that could potentially also bind tamoxifen. But the thing is that you don't want tamoxifen to be active anywhere else. Apparently the developers of tamoxifen tried and ruled out several other estrogen antagonists that did not have the proper selectivity before deciding to carry tamoxifen forward as a drug.
Today was the last day to register for classes over at Case. Those of us who are doing MS degrees were supposed to register for courses by today, but it turns out that you can retroactively add classes later, up until next week Friday. I have decided that I am definitely going to get an MS. This semester I will not be taking a real class, but I will be taking a required seminar where I'll have to go over to Case on the weeks when they have a speaker. Next semester I will take the first real class toward my MS. Most of the M1s are not taking much in the way of extra classes yet. Our PAs don't want us to be overloaded during our first real semester here.