Pancreas: A sex steroid-dependent tissue

Guillermo Robles-Diaz*, Andres Duarte-Rojo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Sex steroid hormones (estrogens, progestagens and androgens) have been associated with healthy and neoplastic pancreatic biology, although the precise significance of the findings has not been well established. Receptors for the three different types of SSH are expressed in normal and tumoral pancreatic tissue with varying profiles related to cell origin (exocrine or endocrine), to type of neoplasm, and probably even to tumoral behavior. The activity of specific enzymes involved in the synthesis and transformation of SSH are increased in some neoplastic pancreatic tissues, which may influence the circulating concentrations of these hormones, such as the low serum testosterone:dihydrotestosterone ratio described in male patients with pancreatic carcinoma. Different patterns of age and gender-related incidence and growth of neoplasms have been identified. Experimental studies have shown that pancreatic carcinogenesis is promoted or inhibited by SSH. At present, the data supporting hormonal manipulation for the treatment of these tumors are non-conclusive. Normal and tumoral pancreatic tissues may be regarded as a target for SSH and an additional site of biosynthesis. The influence of these hormones on physiological activities is not well known but should be further explored. The study of SSH in pancreatic neoplasms will provide clues about its origin, development, tumoral behavior, prognosis and more specific hormonal therapy. We review here the evidence favoring the role of SSH and their possible clinical implications in pancreatic function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-368
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Hormonal therapy
  • Pancreas
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic carcinogenesis
  • Sex steroid hormone receptor
  • Sex steroid hormones
  • Steroid biosynthesis
  • Tumor markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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