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Oestrogen and androgen receptors in melanoma.

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Medicine


Br. J. Cancer (1980) 41, 652 Short Communication OESTROGEN AND ANDROGEN RECEPTORS IN MELANOMA P. RQMKE, J. P. PERSIJN AND C. B. KORSTEN From the Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Clinical Chemistry, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Received 20 June 19779 Accepted 10 I)ecember 1979 GROWTH OF MALIGNANT MELANOMA has occasionally been shown to be hormone- dependent. Bodenham & Hale (1972) administered 32p to patients with meta- stases of malignant melanoma and meas- ured the uptake in the metastases and in control tissues with a Geiger probe. After a few days, when the uptake curve was found to be constant, oestrogens were administered. A change in the uptake curve was found in 4/26 cases. Two of these 4 patients were hypophysectomized and showed remissions for at least 9 months. The 2 others showed regression after administration of either testosterone phenylpropionate in a man and ethinyl oestradiol in a woman. In another report on 5 patients, a melanoma developed or became worse after oestrogen administra- tion (Sadoff et al., 1973). In a preliminary study regression was reported in 5/44 melanoma patients after treatment with the anti-oestrogenic progestational drug 6a - methylpregn - 4 - ene - 3,11,20 - trione (NSC-1 7256; Johnson et al., 1966). Several authors have reported the influence of pregnancy on the course of melanoma. References can be found in the paper of Shiu et al. ( 1976) who showed in their study that with Stage II but not with Stage I melanoma patients the rate of survival for 5 years free of disease was significantly lower in patients who were treated during pregnancy or who had symptoms of activation of the skin lesion during a previous pregnancy, than in those who were nulliparous or who had no symptoms of activationi during a previous pregnancy. In contrast to an adverse effect of preg- nancy stands the remarkable case of a patient whose melanoma regressed during successive pregnancies (Boyd, 1957). Re- cently Shaw et al. (

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