Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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The group of stilbenes (stilbenes from stilbein - Greek for shine) are aromatic non-steroidal hydrocarbons with estrogenic effect, which are insoluble in water, easily soluble in ethanol and easily soluble in margarine. Stilbene derivatives fluoresce and are used industrially as "blankophores" (whitening agents), especially in textiles. Stilbene derivatives are found as phytoestrogens in plants.
Other stilbene derivatives are resveratrol in red wine, rhaponticin which can be isolated from rhubarb and pinosylvin which can be isolated from pine wood.
Dihydroxy-diethylstilbene (stilbestrol) is used therapeutically (prostate carcinoma), whose estrogenic effect is even greater than that of the natural follicle hormone.

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  1. Sinha AA et al (2016) Concurrent Androgen and Estrogen Ablation and Inhibition of Steroid Biosynthetic Enzyme Treatment for Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer. Anticancer Res 36:3847-3854.
  2. Turo R et al (2015) Diethylstilboestrol (1 mg) in the management of castration-resistant prostate cancer. Urol Int 94(3):307-312.

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