Hormonal Therapy

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hormonal therapy is one of the major modalities of medical treatment for cancer. It involves the manipulation of the endocrine system through exogenous administration of specific hormones, particularly steroid hormones, or drugs which inhibit the production or activity of such homones (hormone antagonists). Because steroid hormones are powerful drivers of gene expression in certain cancer cells, changing the levels or activity of certain hormones can cause certain cancers to cease growing, or even undergo cell death.

Hormonal therapy is used for several types of cancers derived from hormonally responsive tissues, including the breast, prostate, endometrium, and adrenal cortex. Hormonal therapy may also be used in the treatment of paraneoplastic syndromes or to ameliorate certain cancer- and chemotherapy-associated symptoms, such as anorexia. Perhaps the most familiar example of hormonal therapy in oncology is the use of the selective estrogen-response modulator tamoxifen for the treatment of breast cancer, although another class of hormonal agents, aromatase inhibitors, now have an expanding role in that disease.

information obtain and edited from: wikipedia.com
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