Joseph Needham, a distinguished British biochemist, has remarked that the greatest achievement in the prenatal history of biochemistry was the use of crystals, obtained by sublimation of extracts of sexual (and accessory) organs, in the treatment of patients in China during the 11th to 17th centuries. Most of these crystals were apparently sex hormones whose chemical structures were determined during the 1920s to 1930s. By the end of the 1930s, pure androgenic steroids were used in the treatment of some patients, and Huggins demonstrated that metastatic prostatic cancer could be treated by castration (1).
KeywordsAcid Number Testosterone Progesterone Androgen Estradiol
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