Hormonal influences on cancer cell proliferation have recently received much attention with the proposal of autocrine or self-stimulating polypeptide growth factors (1). The growth of several types of cancer has long been known to be under endocrine control by steroid hormones: leukemia, prostate carcinoma, endometrial carcinoma, and breast carcinoma. The present article will summarize what is known at present concerning the possible interaction of steroidal endocrine and polypeptide autocrine and paracrine regulators in control of human breast cancer growth. Breast cancer is notable among the above mentioned cancers in that its growth is dependent upon estrogenic hormones in about one-third of clinical cases and can be inhibited by antiestrogenic antagonists (2). The frequency of breast cancer in women who never had functional ovaries is only 1% that in women with intact ovaries. Thus estrogens are involved, at least initially, in nearly all breast cancers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism