Certain alterations in endocrine balance have been shown to constitute effective palliative therapy for some patients with breast cancer. Surgical castration, adrenalectomy, administration of estrogens, and administration of androgens have been demonstrated to produce objective remissions in some patients, whereas in other patients the treatment is without effect or may actually accelerate the growth of the neoplasm. Weeks or months of clinical observation are usually required following a given therapeutic procedure to determine whether the desired effect is being obtained.
An objective index of alterations in tumor growth in man would provide an invaluable guide to the selection of the proper therapy for the individual patient with breast carcinoma. Such an objective measurement is afforded by determining the rate of bone destruction in patients with osseous metastases that are predominantly osteolytic in type. Since bones are a favorite site for metastases from breast carcinoma, calcium excretion studies provide a practical,
Pearson OH, West CD, Hollander VP, Treves NE. EVALUATION OF ENDOCRINE THERAPY FOR ADVANCED BREAST CANCER. JAMA. 1954;154(3):234–239. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940370046013
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