Expression of androgen and oestrogen receptors and its prognostic significance in urothelial neoplasm of the urinary bladder - Abstract

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Steroid hormone receptor signals have been implicated in bladder tumourigenesis and tumour progression. The expression of androgen and/or oestrogen receptors has been assessed in bladder cancer, leading to conflicting data of expression levels and their relationship to histopathological characteristics of the tumours. We simultaneously analyze three receptors in non-neoplastic bladder tissues as well as in primary and metastatic bladder tumour specimens. Our data demonstrate that the expression status correlates with tumour grades/stages and patients' outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the expression of the androgen receptor (AR) and oestrogen receptors (ERs) in bladder tumours because recent studies have shown conflicting results and the prognostic significance of their expression remains unclear.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We investigated the expression of AR, ERα and ERβ in 188 bladder tumour specimens, as well as matched 141 non-neoplastic bladder and 14 lymph node metastasis tissues, by immunohistochemistry. We then evaluated the relationships between their expression and the clinicopathological features available for the present patient cohort.

RESULTS: AR/ERα/ERβ was positive in 80%/50%/89% of benign urothelium, 50%/67%/41% of benign stroma, 42%/27%/49% of primary tumours and 71%/64%/71% of metastatic tumours. Significantly lower expression of AR/ERα was found in high-grade tumours (36%/23%) and tumours invading muscularis propria (33%/19%) compared to low-grade tumours (55%; P= 0.0232/38%; P= 0.0483) and tumours not invading muscularis propria (51%; P= 0.0181/35%; P= 0.0139), respectively. Significantly higher expression of ERβ was found in high-grade tumours (58%) and tumours invading muscularis propria (67%) compared to low-grade tumours (29%; P= 0.0002) and tumours not invading muscularis propria (34%; P < 0.0001), respectively. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests further showed that positivity of ERβ (but not AR or ERα) was associated with the recurrence of low-grade tumours (P= 0.0072); the progression of low-grade tumours (P= 0.0005), high-grade tumours not invading muscularis propria (P= 0.0020) and tumours invading muscularis propria (P= 0.0010); or disease-specific mortality in patients with tumours invading muscularis propria (P= 0.0073).

CONCLUSIONS: Compared to benign bladders, a significant decrease in the expression of AR, ERα or ERβ in bladder cancer was seen. •  Loss of AR or ERα was strongly associated with higher grade/more invasive tumours, whereas ERβ expression was increased in high-grade/invasive tumours and predicted a worse prognosis.

Written by:
Miyamoto H, Yao JL, Chaux A, Zheng Y, Hsu I, Izumi K, Chang C, Messing EM, Netto GJ, Yeh S.   Are you the author?
Departments of Pathology Urology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NYDepartments of Pathology Urology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Reference: BJU Int. 2012 Jan 5.
doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10706.x. [Epub ahead of print]

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22221549 Investigational Urology Section