Testosterone is an ally of macrophages in the battle against adrenal cancers

Testosterone is an ally of macrophages in the battle against adrenal cancers

Why are cancers of the adrenal glands more common among women? Why are prognoses worse for them? A team of scientists led by a CNRS researcher answers these questions in an article published on October 14, 2022 in Science Advances.

They demonstrate that, in male mice, there is greater recruitment of immune cells known as macrophages, which can eliminate tumor cells. Hence, aggressive tumor progression is scarcely seen in male mice; while in female mice, macrophages do not slow the growth of tumors, which eventually metastasize. Through molecular analyses, the team determined that recruitment of tumor-fighting macrophages depends on testosterone.

After simple administration of the hormone to females, macrophages able to eradicate tumor cells were rallied to battle. On the basis of these findings, the scientists conducted another study using data on humans, which revealed the same difference in macrophage recruitment rates between men and women with adrenal cancers.

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