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Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor

Definition

Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor is a rare cancer of the ovaries. The cancer cells produce and release a male sex hormone.

This article focuses on Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors in women. For information on Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors in men, see the article on testicular cancer.

Alternative Names

Arrhenoblastoma; Androblastoma

Symptoms

The Sertoli cells are normally located in the male reproductive glands (the testes). They feed sperm cells. The Leydig cells, also located in the testes, release a male sex hormone called testosterone.

These cells are also found in a woman's ovaries and may lead to cancer. A Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor is a cancer that starts in the female ovaries, usually in younger women. The cancer cells release a male sex hormone that may cause the woman to develop facial hair, a deep voice, and other male characteristics.

In men, some cancers of the testes can start in the Sertoli and Leydig cells. These are considered types of testicular cancer. For information on Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors in men, see the article on testicular cancer.

References

Einhorn LH. Testicular cancer. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 210.


Review Date: 9/6/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; James R. Mason, MD, Oncologist, Director, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Processing Lab, Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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