"Humors and Tumors": Production of Polypeptide Hormones by Non-Endocrine Neoplasms

Louis M Sherwood


Increased emphasis on the diagnosis and management of malignant disorders has given new impetus to the study of hormones produced by tumors. This is but one of a number of paraneoplastic syndromes characteristic of the malignant state. Widespread application of radioimmunoassays has suggested that hormone production by tumors may be more the rule than the exception. Various aspects of pathogenesis and documentation of ectopic hormone production are discussed, emphasizing the fact that small amounts of peptide hormones are made by many malignant and even normal cells. The malignant state somehow enhances the capacity of these cells to produce hormones. Three examples of ectopic hormone production by tumors are described, including those associated with hypercalcemia, Cushing's syndrome and the production of gonadotrophins.


ectopic hormone production; paraneoplastic syndromes; hypercalcemia; Cushing's syndrome;

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.23861/EJBM1982140-46


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