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Biological Activities of Steroids in Relation to Cancer. by Gregory Pincus and Erwin P. Vollmer (Eds.)

By Gregory Pincus and Erwin P. Vollmer (Eds.)

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Read or Download Biological Activities of Steroids in Relation to Cancer. Proceedings of a Conference Sponsored by the Cancer Chemotherapy National Service Center, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare PDF

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Extra info for Biological Activities of Steroids in Relation to Cancer. Proceedings of a Conference Sponsored by the Cancer Chemotherapy National Service Center, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare

Example text

Mechanism of Action of Estrogens on Prostatic Cancer. The use of estrogens in the treatment of prostatic cancer was originally based on the known antagonism of estrogens to certain effects of androgens in experimental animals. Thus, if castration were effective because it removed androgens, estrogens might be effective because they would antagonize the effect of androgens in the noncastrated individual. Certain quantitative relationships between estrogens and testosterone do exist. T h e studies of Huggins and Clark (55) demonstrated a quantitative reciprocal relationship between stilbestrol and testosterone as measured by the secretory output of the prostate in castrate dogs.

This term is used to describe the situation in which two drugs act by different mechanisms, or on different organ systems, to produce effects that are mutually antagonistic. For example, nitroglycerin causes a fall in blood pressure and epinephrine causes a rise in blood pressure. If particular doses are chosen, these two agents may be given together without inducing a change in blood pressure. Numerous other examples of this type of antagonism may be found, and it is likely that many steroid interactions are on the basis of physiological antagonism.

2. Pituitary Inhibition. Testosterone can depress pituitary function, as indicated by the decrease in urinary gonadotropins, inhibition of ovulation, and decrease in ovarian weight which occur during treatment. Bottomly and Folley (6) demonstrated that the reduction in ovarian weight induced by testosterone is due to selective inhibition of the pituitary and does not occur when gonadotropin is administered concurrently with testosterone. Thus it has been thought that the ability of testosterone and related compounds to inhibit tumor growth may be related to an inhibition of gonadotropin secretion from the pituitary gland.

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