Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor
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.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
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.
Einhorn LH. Testicular cancer. In Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 206.
Markham M. Gynecologic cancers. In Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 205.
Review Date: 6/5/2012
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.