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Prognostic significance of estrogen receptor alpha and beta expression in human serous carcinomas of the ovary

  • Gynecologic oncology
  • Published:
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics Aims and scope Submit manuscript



Ovarian cancer is a gynecologic cancer with a high mortality rate. This shows the need of effective screening methods and reliable cancer markers for ovarian cancer staging and appropriate effective cancer treatment.


Expression of estrogen receptor α and β was studied by immunhistochemical analysis of 100 ovarian cancer tissue samples.


In this study on 100 serous ovarian cancer tissue samples from patients with defined clinicopathologic features, a significant association of ER-α expression with ovarian cancer grading (p = 0.004), progression-free survival (p = 0.007), and cause-specific survival (p = 0.001) was demonstrated. Expression of ER-β was found to be associated with the metastatic lymph node status (p = 0.006).


Immunohistochemical analysis of ER might be used as an easy, simple and highly efficient marker to identify high-risk patients and may aid in the selection of patients for a more aggressive adjuvant therapy. Furthermore, patients that show a positive ER-α immunostaining can be selected for a specific anti-hormonal therapy, as already performed for breast cancer patients.

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We thank Susanne Kunze and Christina Kuhn for their support in immunohistochemical studies. Additionally, we would also like to thank Prof. D. Hölzel—Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and Mr. M. Schmidt of the Munich Tumour Registry for supplying the survival data.

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Correspondence to Ioannis Mylonas.

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A. Burges and A. Brüning contributed equally.

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Burges, A., Brüning, A., Dannenmann, C. et al. Prognostic significance of estrogen receptor alpha and beta expression in human serous carcinomas of the ovary. Arch Gynecol Obstet 281, 511–517 (2010).

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