April 1962

Adrenalectomy for Hopeless Carcinoma of the Prostate

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Medical Teaching Group Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1962;84(4):421-424. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01300220045006

There are only a few human malignancies which are influenced in growth and invasive behavior by hormones. Carcinomas of the breast, prostate, thyroid, and ovary are the lesions most commonly influenced, but mammary and prostatic malignancies are sometimes favorably changed when their respective hormones are abolished or nearly abolished by hypophysectomy or adrenalectomy after the respective sex organs have been removed. Growth in certain breast carcinomas is probably enhanced by an increase in estrogen, and in certain prostatic carcinomas, growth seems to accelerate by increased androgen. Observations leading to this knowledge arose after bilateral oophorectomy and bilateral orchiectomy apparently slowed the invasion of the body by these malignancies. It followed that other hormonal glands, capable of producing androgen and estrogen when the sex organs are removed, may by their hormonal activity cause the carcinoma to grow.1 When substitutive hormonal therapy was available, eradication of the adrenal gland was exploited

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