Hormones as Etiological Agents in Neoplasia

  • Jacob Furth
Part of the Cancer, A Comprehensive Treatise book series (C)


The hormonal concept of carcinogenesis was initiated by the intuitive studies of Beatson (1896) on the relation of breast cancer to the ovary. Epidemiological studies of mammary tumors of highly inbred strains of mice led Bittner and his associates (Bittner, 1946–1947) to the recognition of genetic, viral, and hormonal components in the development of breast cancer. Independently, Rous and Kidd (1941), on the basis of experimental studies on induction of skin cancers with carcinogens, advanced the multifactorial concept of tumorigenesis and postulated the existence of latent cancer cells. The recognition of “progression” during the course of neoplastic disease was best conceived by Foulds (cf. 1969). Finally, the recognition of immunosurveillance (Burnet, 1970; Jerne, 1973; Klein, 1973–1974) and of immunological and hormonal factors capable of restraining or enhancing tumor growth completed the picture of the complexity of forces involved in initiation and growth of tumors. The last of these—hormones—is reviewed here in light of all other forces.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob Furth
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Cancer Research and Department of PathologyColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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