Osteolytic Sterol in Human Breast Cancer

Science  11 Mar 1966:
Vol. 151, Issue 3715, pp. 1226-1228
DOI: 10.1126/science.151.3715.1226


Eleven of twelve human breast cancers contained a lipid which increased urinary 45Ca and 40Ca excretion of 45Ca-labeled, parathyroidectomized rats receiving a low Ca diet. The lipid has mobility on thin-layer chromatography and gas-liquid chromatography close to, but not identical with, that of 7-dehydrocholesterol. Authentic 7-dehydrocholesterol has osteolytic activity similar to that of the extracted sterol. Fluorescence and Lieberman-Burchard reactions of the extracted sterol are similar to those of 7-dehydrocholesterol. The lipid was found by thin-layer chromatography in the extracts which had osteolytic activity. Neither the lipid nor osteolytic activity was found in extracts of tissue from two normal human breasts.