THE FAVORABLE results obtained by a group of English investigators1 from the use of estrogenic hormones in some cases of advanced carcinoma of the female breast prompted us to try this therapeutic procedure. We selected 17 patients for study. Thirteen patients had primary inoperable cancer, for which no previous therapy had been administered. Two patients had recurrent lesions in the same breast several years after treatment of inoperable carcinoma by irradiation. Of the remaining 2 patients of this group, a carcinomatous ulcer had developed in the mastectomy scar of 1 and recurrent nodules in the skin of the thoracic wall of the other. A biopsy specimen which was positive for cancer was obtained in every case.
These 17 patients were treated exclusively with a synthetic estrogenic hormone (ethinyl estradiol) administered orally. One milligram of this substance, according to some investigators,2 is the equivalent of 7 to 20 mg.