, Volume 11, Issue 11, pp 748-752
Date: 04 Dec 2009

Gonadotropin and steroid receptors as prognostic factors in advanced ovarian cancer: a retrospective study

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Ovarian cancer is a chemosensitive tumour, but two thirds of women have a recurrence during the follow-up, even after an optimal surgical debulking followed by chemotherapy with a platinum and a taxane compound. Cytotoxic drugs are used in a second- or third-line setting but tumour progression is the rule. Also patients with the same histology achieve different outcomes in terms of survival. We decided to study gonadotropin and steroid receptors and to consider if these histological markers could select patients with different prognosis.

Materials and methods

In our study we have measured by immunohistochemistry oestrogen, progestin and gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptors (Gn-RHRs) in paraffin-embedded ovarian cancer tissue in a sample of 62 consecutive patients with advanced ovarian cancer treated with surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. Descriptive methods, a survival analysis (Kaplan-Meier) and a Cox regression analysis were done.


Oestrogen receptors (ERs) were positive in 65% of patients and the same positivity was obtained for progestin receptors (PRs), with 74% showing some positivity for Gn-RHR receptors. Maximal cytoreduction and ERs, but not gonadotropin receptors, were independently associated with overall survival, with better survival for oestrogennegative tumours. No association was established for progression-free survival.


We can conclude that ER status in our series is an independent prognostic factor for ovarian cancer with better survival for oestrogen-negative receptor tumours. PRs could also have a prognostic role in association with ERs.