Steroid hormone influence on melanomagenesis

Mario Mitkov, Richard Joseph, John Copland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Disparities in the prognosis and incidence of melanoma between male and female patients have led clinicians to explore the influence of steroid hormones on the development and progression of this malignancy. A better understanding of the disparities of melanoma behavior between sexes and ages could lead to improved prevention and treatment options. There are multiple themes in the literature that unify the physiologic functions of estrogen and androgen receptors; herein we discuss and map their pathways. Overall, it is important to understand that the differences in melanoma behavior between the sexes are multifactorial and likely involve interactions between the immune system, endocrine system, and environment, namely UV-radiation. Melanoma deserves a spot among hormone-sensitive tumors, and if tamoxifen is re-introduced for future therapy, tissue ratios of estrogen receptors should be obtained beforehand to assess their therapeutic predictive value. Because androgens, estrogens, and their receptors are involved in signaling of commonly mutated melanoma pathways, potential synergistic properties of the recently developed molecular kinase inhibitors that target those pathways may exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
StatePublished - Dec 5 2015


  • Androgen
  • Estrogen
  • Hormone therapy
  • Melanoma
  • Steroid hormone receptors
  • Tamoxifen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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