Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jrsocmedLink to Publisher's site
J R Soc Med. 1996 August; 89(8): 448–453.
PMCID: PMC1295886

Endocrine treatment of cancer.


Cancer has been treated by hormonal manipulation for over 100 years. Although therapeutic progress during this period has resulted mainly from clinical observation, more rational treatment approaches are now emerging from insights into the molecular basis of hormone-responsiveness. Among these are the recognition that hormonal signalling effects are transduced via specific receptor proteins, and the possibility that tumour lysis by hormonal therapies is effected by triggering of a programmed cell death pathway. Clinical progress has already been achieved through basic advances: receptor assays, for example, now permit prediction of treatment benefit in various settings. However, much remains to be learned about the mechanism and application of hormonal anticancer treatments.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (996K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Dong F, Brynes RK, Tidow N, Welte K, Löwenberg B, Touw IP. Mutations in the gene for the granulocyte colony-stimulating-factor receptor in patients with acute myeloid leukemia preceded by severe congenital neutropenia. N Engl J Med. 1995 Aug 24;333(8):487–493. [PubMed]
  • Komminoth P, Kunz EK, Matias-Guiu X, Hiort O, Christiansen G, Colomer A, Roth J, Heitz PU. Analysis of RET protooncogene point mutations distinguishes heritable from nonheritable medullary thyroid carcinomas. Cancer. 1995 Aug 1;76(3):479–489. [PubMed]
  • Newmark JR, Hardy DO, Tonb DC, Carter BS, Epstein JI, Isaacs WB, Brown TR, Barrack ER. Androgen receptor gene mutations in human prostate cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jul 15;89(14):6319–6323. [PubMed]
  • Taplin ME, Bubley GJ, Shuster TD, Frantz ME, Spooner AE, Ogata GK, Keer HN, Balk SP. Mutation of the androgen-receptor gene in metastatic androgen-independent prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 1995 May 25;332(21):1393–1398. [PubMed]
  • Karnik PS, Kulkarni S, Liu XP, Budd GT, Bukowski RM. Estrogen receptor mutations in tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer. Cancer Res. 1994 Jan 15;54(2):349–353. [PubMed]
  • Fuqua SA, Wolf DM. Molecular aspects of estrogen receptor variants in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1995 Sep;35(3):233–241. [PubMed]
  • Ottaviano YL, Issa JP, Parl FF, Smith HS, Baylin SB, Davidson NE. Methylation of the estrogen receptor gene CpG island marks loss of estrogen receptor expression in human breast cancer cells. Cancer Res. 1994 May 15;54(10):2552–2555. [PubMed]
  • Maton PN. The use of the long-acting somatostatin analogue, octreotide acetate, in patients with islet cell tumors. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 1989 Dec;18(4):897–922. [PubMed]
  • Vaux DL. Toward an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of physiological cell death. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Feb 1;90(3):786–789. [PubMed]
  • Brändström A, Westin P, Bergh A, Cajander S, Damber JE. Castration induces apoptosis in the ventral prostate but not in an androgen-sensitive prostatic adenocarcinoma in the rat. Cancer Res. 1994 Jul 1;54(13):3594–3601. [PubMed]
  • Kyprianou N, English HF, Isaacs JT. Programmed cell death during regression of PC-82 human prostate cancer following androgen ablation. Cancer Res. 1990 Jun 15;50(12):3748–3753. [PubMed]
  • Garcia M, Derocq D, Freiss G, Rochefort H. Activation of estrogen receptor transfected into a receptor-negative breast cancer cell line decreases the metastatic and invasive potential of the cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Dec 1;89(23):11538–11542. [PubMed]
  • Ma ZQ, Spreafico E, Pollio G, Santagati S, Conti E, Cattaneo E, Maggi A. Activated estrogen receptor mediates growth arrest and differentiation of a neuroblastoma cell line. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Apr 15;90(8):3740–3744. [PubMed]
  • Colditz GA, Hankinson SE, Hunter DJ, Willett WC, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, Hennekens C, Rosner B, Speizer FE. The use of estrogens and progestins and the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. N Engl J Med. 1995 Jun 15;332(24):1589–1593. [PubMed]
  • Clark OH. TSH suppression in the management of thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. World J Surg. 1981 Jan;5(1):39–47. [PubMed]
  • Cooper DS. Clinical review 66: Thyroxine suppression therapy for benign nodular disease. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1995 Feb;80(2):331–334. [PubMed]
  • Powles TJ, Hickish TF, Makris A, Ashley SE, O'Brien ME, Tidy VA, Casey S, Nash AG, Sacks N, Cosgrove D, et al. Randomized trial of chemoendocrine therapy started before or after surgery for treatment of primary breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 1995 Mar;13(3):547–552. [PubMed]
  • Epstein RJ. The clinical biology of hormone-responsive breast cancer. Cancer Treat Rev. 1988 Mar;15(1):33–51. [PubMed]
  • Akakura K, Bruchovsky N, Goldenberg SL, Rennie PS, Buckley AR, Sullivan LD. Effects of intermittent androgen suppression on androgen-dependent tumors. Apoptosis and serum prostate-specific antigen. Cancer. 1993 May 1;71(9):2782–2790. [PubMed]
  • Mortel R, Levy C, Wolff JP, Nicolas JC, Robel P, Baulieu EE. Female sex steroid receptors in postmenopausal endometrial carcinoma and biochemical response to an antiestrogen. Cancer Res. 1981 Mar;41(3):1140–1147. [PubMed]
  • Carlson JA, Jr, Allegra JC, Day TG, Jr, Wittliff JL. Tamoxifen and endometrial carcinoma: alterations in estrogen and progesterone receptors in untreated patients and combination hormonal therapy in advanced neoplasia. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1984 May 15;149(2):149–153. [PubMed]
  • Sainsbury JR, Farndon JR, Sherbet GV, Harris AL. Epidermal-growth-factor receptors and oestrogen receptors in human breast cancer. Lancet. 1985 Feb 16;1(8425):364–366. [PubMed]
  • Borg A, Tandon AK, Sigurdsson H, Clark GM, Fernö M, Fuqua SA, Killander D, McGuire WL. HER-2/neu amplification predicts poor survival in node-positive breast cancer. Cancer Res. 1990 Jul 15;50(14):4332–4337. [PubMed]
  • Tandon AK, Clark GM, Chamness GC, Ullrich A, McGuire WL. HER-2/neu oncogene protein and prognosis in breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 1989 Aug;7(8):1120–1128. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press