Platelet sensitivity to prostacyclin (PG12) was determined in normal male and female subjects, and in patients with benign and malignant tumours of the breast. The IC50 overall mean values for PG12 on ADP-induced platelet aggregation were similar for normal men and women, being 0.97 +/- 0.05 ng ml-1 and 0.83 +/- 0.07 ng ml-1 respectively. However, there were significant differences in the IC50 values for women in the 1st (0.81 +/- 0.06 ng ml-1) vs. 2nd (1.37 +/- 0.13 ng ml-1) phase of the menstrual cycle; post-menopausal women gave similar values to normal males and to pre-menopausal women in the 1st phase of the cycle. No significant differences were found between normal subjects and patients with benign or malignant tumours of the breast when account was taken of the status of the patient in relation to the phase of the menstrual cycle and the menopause. The importance of the hormonal status in evaluating changes in platelet sensitivity in patients with breast cancer is strongly emphasised.
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