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June 12, 1967

Hypophysectomy as Palliative Treatment

JAMA. 1967;200(11):974-975. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120240102018

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Since the majority of women with breast cancer eventually develop dissemination of their disease despite radical mastectomy and radiation therapy, palliative treatment takes on great importance. Appropriate endocrine therapy, including ablative procedures, may provide an effective means for not only relief of symptoms, but in many cases, a temporary arrest of the growth of the cancer with prolongation of useful and comfortable life.

The recognition that alteration in the endocrine state of the body might have a salutary effect in the control of breast cancer is credited to Beatson6 who employed oophorectomy in premenopausal women for this purpose. It has been found that the procedure is effective in causing remission of the disease for an average of nine months in about 33% of patients. As a result of this and other experiences in the study of factors in breast cancer in both humans and laboratory animals, the tumor has