Oestrogene und Mammacarcinom

  • H. Breuer
Part of the Oestrogene Hypophysentumoren book series (ENDOKRINOLOGIE, volume 15)

Estrogens and Cancer of the Mammary Gland


  1. 1.

    Oestrogens appear to have an influence on certain types of human mammary cancer. This applies particularly to metastazising, hormone-dependent tumours which frequently show remission after ovariectomy and adrenalectomy. However, the clinical response, observed after endocrine ablation, is most probably due to changes of the hormonal environment rather than to the total elimination of endogenous oestrogens. Therefore, it seems justified to revise the long-held view that breast cancer is an oestrogen-dependent disease. Hence, the term carcinogen should no longer be associated with oestrogens.

  2. 2.

    So far, attempts to correlate the excretion of endogenous oestrogens in patients with mammary cancer to the prognosis of the disease have not been successful. However, as has been shown by Bulbrook and his colleagues [48–52], the amounts of androgen and corticosteroid metabolites in the urine are closely related to the clinical response of patients with advanced breast cancer to endocrine ablation. As compared to normal, no significant qualitative or quantitative differences were demonstrated in the metabolism of oestrogens in patients with mammary cancer in vivo or in tissue preparations of breast tumour in vitro. The same is true for the uptake of oestrogens by normal and cancerous breast tissues.

  3. 3.

    The 7,12-dimethylbenzanthrazene-induced mammary tumour of the rat appears to be a suitable object for the study of the interrelation between oestrogens and mammary cancer. However, a fuller understanding of this interrelationship will not be possible before the mode of action of oestrogens on the cellular and molecular level is known. Then, the question may also be answered if and under which circumstances oestrogens may play a dominant role in the production and in the course of mammary cancer.



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Breuer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für klinische BiochemieUniversität BonnDeutschland

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