Expression of steroid hormone receptors and its prognostic significance in urothelial carcinoma of the upper urinary tract

To assess the expression status of steroid hormone receptors in upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UUTUC), we immunohistochemically stained for androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptor-α (ERα), ERβ, glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and progesterone receptor (PR) in 99 UUTUC specimens and paired non-neoplastic urothelial tissues. AR/ERα/ERβ/GR/PR was positive in 20%/18%/62%/63%/16% of tumors, which was significantly lower (except PR) than in benign urothelial tissues [57% (P<0.001)/40% (P = 0.001)/85% (P = 0.001)/84% (P = 0.002)/13% (P = 0.529)]. There were no significant associations between each receptor expression pattern and histopathological characteristic of the tumors including tumor grade/stage. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests revealed no significant prognostic value of each receptor expression in these 99 patients. However, patients with UUTUC positive for either ERα or PR had a significantly higher risk of disease-specific mortality (P = 0.025), compared with those with UUTUC negative for both. PR positivity alone in pT3 or pT4 tumors was also strongly associated with the risk of disease-specific mortality (P = 0.040). Multivariate analysis further identified the expression of ERα and/or PR as a strong predictor for disease-specific mortality in the entire cohort of the patients (hazard ratio, 2.434; P = 0.037). Thus, in accordance with previous observations in bladder specimens, significant decreases in the expression of AR/ERα/ERβ/GR in UUTUC, compared with that in non-neoplastic urothelium, were observed. Meanwhile, the negativity of both ERα and PR in UUTUC as well as the negativity of PR alone in deeply invasive tumor was suggested to serve as a prognosticator.

Cancer biology & therapy. 2016 Sep 16 [Epub ahead of print]

Eiji Kashiwagi, Kazutoshi Fujita, Seiji Yamaguchi, Hiroaki Fushimi, Hiroki Ide, Satoshi Inoue, Taichi Mizushima, Leonardo O Reis, Rajni Sharma, George J Netto, Norio Nonomura, Hiroshi Miyamoto

a Departments of Pathology ; Baltimore ; MD USA., c Department of Urology ; Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine ; Suita ; Japan., d Departments of Urology ; Osaka ; Japan., e Departments of Pathology ; Osaka General Medical Center ; Osaka ; Japan.

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