Ectopic hormonal disorders

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Abstract

A new syndrome of constipation in association with ovarian carcinoid tumors as a possible consequence of ectopic peptide YY secretion and evidence of ectopic endothelin production have been described. Two papers describe the adverse prognosis in small cell lung cancer that is conferred by ectopic corticotropin production, and a new hypothesis of cortisol inactivation overload has been proposed to explain the excessive mineralocorticoid effects often seen in the ectopic corticotropin syndrome. At a more basic level, the glucocorticoid resistance of ectopic corticotropin-secreting tumors has been explored, and the potential of bromocriptine in inhibiting the peptide output of small cell lung cancer cells is reported. A further report on the use of octreotide as a treatment for ectopic corticotropin-secreting tumors is disappointing, but a single case report of a synergistic effect of this drug with interferon may point the way for future therapeutic possibilities.

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