Clearly, many cancers are related to the status of hormones in the body, for example, breast cancer may or may not utilize estrogens as growth factors, prostate cancer cells may depend on a supply of androgens, etc.; these dependencies usually are a feature of the presence of the cognate receptor in the tumor cell, and hormone independence becomes a feature of tumor cells that no longer express the appropriate receptor. Thus, there are two approaches to cancer treatments involving hormones: in one, the gland responsible for the offensive secretion of a hormone may be removed (gland extirpation; this is also a route to remove a tumor of a specific gland), and in the other, hormones and their antagonists may be used as chemotherapeutic agents. A third avenue of treatment is becoming important, and this relies on agents that block the activity
estradiol symmetrical DES
unsymmetrical DES CH3CH2
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