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Nat Rev Cancer. 2016 May;16(5):330-9. doi: 10.1038/nrc.2016.30. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

Sexual dimorphism in cancer.

Author information

1
Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.
2
Department of Biochemistry, University of Lausanne, Epalinges, CH-1066, Switzerland.
3
Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA; and the Department of Biochemistry, University of Lausanne, Epalinges, CH-1066, Switzerland.

Abstract

The incidence of many types of cancer arising in organs with non-reproductive functions is significantly higher in male populations than in female populations, with associated differences in survival. Occupational and/or behavioural factors are well-known underlying determinants. However, cellular and molecular differences between the two sexes are also likely to be important. In this Opinion article, we focus on the complex interplay that sex hormones and sex chromosomes can have in intrinsic control of cancer-initiating cell populations, the tumour microenvironment and systemic determinants of cancer development, such as the immune system and metabolism. A better appreciation of these differences between the two sexes could be of substantial value for cancer prevention as well as treatment.

PMID:
27079803
DOI:
10.1038/nrc.2016.30
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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