Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 293, Issue 6, pp 1161–1168 | Cite as

Estrogen receptor beta and ovarian cancer: a key to pathogenesis and response to therapy

  • Ioannis KyriakidisEmail author
  • Paraskevi Papaioannidou



Ovarian cancer remains the leading cause of mortality due to gynecological tumors. Estrogen receptors (ERs) seem to participate in tumor progression even in the absence of estrogens. Twenty years after the cloning of the second estrogen receptor, a wide spectrum of studies have shown its implication in both physiologic and pathologic pathways. ERβ, being the predominant type of ER in normal ovary tissue, has not only been linked with pathogenesis of ovarian cancer, but also with response to treatment. Unlike ERα, which is primarily linked with cell growth, ERβ presence is prominent in signaling pathways, cell cycle regulation and apoptosis.


Literature review of relevant published material (from PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane databases) was conducted.


Polymorphisms in the respective ESR2 gene, epigenetic modifications and isoforms of the receptor have been extensively studied to assess potential correlations with responsiveness to treatment and tumor behavior. Studies on the exact roles of ERβ and its genetic variations in altering effectiveness and toxicity of ovarian cancer treatment regimens are lacking.


Clinical utilization of ERβ actions in the management of ovarian cancer is discussed in an up-to-date review.


Estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) Ovarian cancer ESR2 ER beta isoforms ER beta polymorphisms Epigenetic modifications Pharmacogenomics 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to this article exists.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Medical SchoolAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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