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Ectopic hormone syndromes 

Ectopic hormone syndromes
Chapter:
Ectopic hormone syndromes
Author(s):

David W. Ray

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199235292.003.1111
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date: 13 November 2019

Production of hormones usually occurs in specialized endocrine glands. Such hormone production is typically under control from higher centres, ultimately the brain, and also subject to complex negative feedback. This results in tight regulation of circulating hormone levels, and affords a mechanism for influencing diverse tissue function throughout the body. Inappropriate hormone production by nonendocrine tissue causes a spectrum of rare syndromes which are important as they are not only a management challenge, but also because they shed light on the regulation of tissue-specific gene expression with widespread ramifications for understanding human physiology. In addition, inappropriate expression of a peptide may be useful as a tumour marker, as for example human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or α‎-fetoprotein. This chapter will address the basic mechanisms of ectopic hormone production and will further discuss specific clinical syndromes.

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