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Hormone therapy for cancer


Earlier articles discussed the general management of patients with cancer1 and cancer chemotherapy.2 This article, published in two sections, discusses hormone therapy for cancer. The first part concerns leukaemias and malignant lymphomas, the second cancer of the breast and prostate. It is not known for each type of malignancy whether there is one group of patients who definitely respond to hormone therapy and another separate group who do not. This makes the results difficult to interpret and there are insufficient controlled trials to support most of the commonly used regimens. Arbitrary definitions have to be chosen for ‘favourable response’, ‘hormone resistance’, ‘remission’. Different trials can frequently not be compared because precise definitions are rarely used. Most investigators record a response as significant if the tumour decreases to half its original size.

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