Steroid Hormones and Cancer

  • D. C. Williams


The mechanism of action of steroid hormones at a subcellular level remains one of the most fascinating and important problems in molecular biology. A great amount of effort has been expended, over the years, in an attempt to explain the wide range of morphological and biochemical effects which may be brought about by steroid hormones in experimental systems. Steroid analysis and, more recently, the analysis of the specific sites at which steroids function, has become an important part of clinical investigation. In spite of this the basic process of the steroid control of cellular function is still largely unexplained, so that any investigation of steroid participation in the cancer process must be based on certain assumptions as to the fundamental mechanism.


Breast Cancer Prostatic Carcinoma Receptor Site Cyproterone Acetate Testosterone Propionate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aitken, E. H., and Preedy, J. R. K. (1956). The estimation of urinary estrogens. Biochem. J. 62: 15.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, K. M. and Liao, S. (1968). Selective retention of dihydrotestosterone by prostatic nuclei. Nature 219: 277.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Atkins, H., Bulbrook, R. D., Falconer, M. A., Hayward, J. L., Maclean, K. S., and Schurr, P. H. (1968). Ten years experience of steroid assays in the managment of breast cancer. Lancet II: 1255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barber, J. R., and Richmond, C. (1971). Human breast carcinoma culture: The effects of hormones. Brit. J. Surg. 58: 732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berganstal, D. M., Hertz, R., Lipsett, M. B., and Moy, R. J. (1960). Chemotherapy of adrenocortical cancer with o,p’ DDD. Ann. Mt. Med. 53: 672.Google Scholar
  6. Bishun, N. P., Mills, J., Lloyd, N., and Williams, D. C. (1975a). Chromosomal examination of various cell clones (in vitro) derived from a D.M.B.A. induced male rat breast tumour. Eur. J. Cancer. 9: 865.Google Scholar
  7. Bishun, N. P., Mills, J., Parke, D. V., and Williams, D. C. (1975b). A cytogenetic study in women who had used oral contraceptives and their progeny. Muta t. Res. 33: 299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bishun, N. P., Mills, J., Raven, R. W., and Williams, D. C. (1973). Culturing of human breast tumours. Cytologia 38: 651.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bishun, N. P., Mills, J., Raven, R. W., and Williams, D. C. (1974). Culturing of breast tumours in the presence of hormones. J. Surg. Oncol. 6: 202.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, J. B. (1955). A chemical method for the determination of oestriol, oestrone and oestradiol in human urine. Biochem. J. 60: 185.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Bulbrook, R. D., Greenwood, F. C., and Hayward, J. L. (1960). Selection of breast cancer patients for adrenalectomy or hypophysectomy by determining urinary 17-hydroxycorticosteroids. Lancet I: 1154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Burn, J. I. (1976). Proc. R. Soc. Med. (in press) and personal communications.Google Scholar
  13. C.C.N.S.C. (1964). Report of the breast cancer group. J. Amer. Med. Assn. 188: 1069.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. C.C.N.S.C. (1964). Report of the breast cancer group. Cancer Chemother. Rep. 41:Supp. 1.Google Scholar
  15. Dao, T. L. (1971). In Proceedings of a Breast Cancer Workshop (Dao, T. L., ed.) Chicago University Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  16. Davies, P., Fahmy, A. R., Pierrepoint, C. G., and Griffiths, K. (1972). Hormonal effects in vitro on prostatic ribonucleic acid polymerase. Biochem. J. 129: 1167.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Davis, M., Portman, B., Searle, M., Wright, R., and Williams, R. (1975). Histological evidence of carcinoma in hepatic tumour associated with oral contraceptives. Brit. Med. J. 4: 496.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. DeSombre, E. R., Mohla, S., and Jensen, E. V. (1972). Hormonal response of breast cancer. Biophys. Biochem. Res. Commun. 48: 1601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. DeSombre, E. R., Smith, S., Block, G. E., Ferguson, D. J., and Jensen, E. V. (1974). Prediction of breast cancer response to endocrine therapy. Cancer Chemother. Rep. 58: 513.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Forrest, A. P. M. (1965). In The Scientific Basis of Surgery (Irving Livingstone, ed.) London.Google Scholar
  21. Forrest, A. P. M. (1971) Hormonal influences in breast cancer. Proc. R. Soc. Med. 64:509.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Forrest, A. P. M., and Roberts, M. M. (1973). Therapeutic choice for disseminated breast carcinoma. In Modern Trends in Oncology (R. W. Raven, ed.), Vol. 1, Butterworth, London.Google Scholar
  23. Geller, J., Fruchturan, B., Newman, H., Roberts, T., and Silva, R. (1967). Effect of progestational agents on carcinoma of the prostate. Cancer Chemother. Rep. 51: 41.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Harper, M. E., Fahmy, A. R., Pierrepoint, G. G., and Griffiths, K. (1970). The effect of some stilboestrol compounds on DNA polymerase from human prostatic tissue. Steroids. 15: 89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Herbst, A. L., Scully, R. E., and Robboy, S. J. (1975). Problems in the examination of the DES exposed female. Obstet. Gynecol. 44: 353.Google Scholar
  26. Herbst, A. L., Robboy, S. J., Scully, R. E., and Poskanzer, D. C. (1974). Clear cell adenoma of the vagina and cervix in young females. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 119: 713.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Huggins, C., and Clarke, P. J. (1941). The effect of castration on advanced carcinoma of the prostate gland in dogs. Cancer Res. 1: 293.Google Scholar
  28. Jensen, E. V., and DeSombre, E. R. (1972). Mechanism of action of female sex hormones. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 41: 203.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jensen. E. V., Desombre, E. R., and Jungblut, P. W. (1967). Estrogen receptors in hormone responsive tissues and tumors. In: Estrogenous Factors Influencing Host-Tumour Balance ( Wissler, R. W., Dao, T. L. and Wood, S. Jr., eds.), p. 15. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  30. Jensen, E. V., and Jacobson, H. 1. (1960). Fate of steroid estrogens in target tissues. In Biological Activities in Relation to Cancer ( Pincus, G., and Vollmer, E., eds.) p. 161. Academic Press, London and New York.Google Scholar
  31. Juret, P. (1968). Urinary androgen excretion as a prognostic factor before hypophysectomy. In Prognostic Factors in Breast Cancer ( Forrest, A. P. and Kunkler, P. B., eds.) p. 393. Longman, New York.Google Scholar
  32. Leonard, B. J. (1974). WHO Symposium—Pharmacological Models in Contraceptive Development, Geneva. Briggs, M., and Diezfansy, S., eds. p. 34. Stockholm.Google Scholar
  33. McGuire, W. L., Chamness, C. G., Costilow, M. E., and Richert, N. J. (1975). Steroids and human breast cancer. J. Steroid Biochem. 6: 723.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McGuire, W. L., Costolow, M. E., and Chamness, G. C., (1975a). Prolactin receptors in experimental breast cancer. Abstract of Workshop on Human Prolactin Xth Acta Endocrinoligica Meeting, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  35. McGuire, W. L., and Horowitz, K. B. (1975b) Steroid hormone receptors in human breast cancer. Abstract of Workshop on Human Prolactin Xth Acta Endocrinologica Meeting, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  36. Pearson, O. H., Li, M. C., McLean, J. P., Lipsett, M. B., and West, C. D. (1955). Endocrine therapy of metastatic breast cancer. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 61: 393.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Robel, P., Lasnitzki, 1., and Baulieu, E. E. (1971). Testosterone metabolism in rat prostate gland grown in organ culture and hormone action. Biochimie. 53: 81.Google Scholar
  38. Segaloff, A. (1975). Steroids and carcinogenesis. J. Steroid Biochem. 6: 171.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Talley, R. W., Kelly, J. E., Brennan, M. J., and Vaitkevicius, V. K. (1961). Clinical study of 6a-methyl- 9a-floro-17-acetoxy-21-deoxyprednisolone in human breast cancer. Cancer Chemother. Rep. 12: 59.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Weisenfeld, S., and Goldner, M. G. (1962). Treatment of advanced malignancy and Cushing’s Syndrome with D.D.D. Cancer Chemother. Rep. 16: 335.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Williams, D. C., and Smethurst, M. (1975). Enzyme induction by steroid hormones with reference to cancer. In Enzyme Induction ( D. V. Parke, ed.) Plenum Press, London and New York.Google Scholar
  42. Zimmermann, B., Block, H. S., Williams, W. L., Hitchcock, C. R., and Hoelscher, B. (1956). The effect of D.D.D. on the human adrenal. Cancer 9: 940.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. C. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.The Marie Curie Memorial FoundationSurreyEngland

Personalised recommendations