European Journal of Dermatology

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 254–259 | Cite as

Oestrogen and progesterone receptors in melanoma and nevi: an immunohistochemical study

  • Emi DikaEmail author
  • Pier Alessandro Fanti
  • Sabina Vaccari
  • Elisa Capizzi
  • Alessio Degiovanni
  • Agnese Gobbi
  • Bianca Maria Piraccini
  • Simone Ribero
  • Carlotta Baraldi
  • Giulia Maria Ravaioli
  • Michelangelo Fiorentino
  • Annalisa Patrizi
Investigative report



The effect of hormonal stimulation and fertility treatments, on the development of malignant melanoma (MM) remains to be determined.


The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of oestrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and progesterone receptor (PR) inMM and nevi after hormonal stimulation.

Materials & Methods

Immunohistochemical analyses were performed utilizing antibodies specifically directed against ERα and PR in MM and atypical nevi specimens from patients: (1) diagnosed during pregnancy, (2) diagnosed in the six months following delivery, or (3) who had undergone repetitive cycles of hormonal stimulation for in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the year that preceded MM diagnosis. Controls were atypical nevi and MM specimens of female patients of the same age group who had received no hormonal therapies and reported no pregnancies in the five years before diagnosis.


Twenty-eight female patients at childbearing age were selected for this study. Strong cytoplasmic positivity of ERα and PRwas detected in atypical melanocytes of two MM specimens of patients who had undergone repetitive cycles of hormonal stimulation during IVF procedures. All other specimens showed no expression ofERαor PR.


Since our results represent preliminary findings, conclusions regarding a possible correlation between IVF therapy and melanoma occurrence cannot be ascertained. Larger laboratory studies should be performed to investigate reproductive hormone receptor expression in MM in women following IVF, pregnancy, prolonged contraceptive use, or hormone replacement therapy.

Key words

melanoma oestrogen progesterone pregnancy in vitro fertilization hormonal therapy 


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Copyright information

© John Libbey Eurotext 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emi Dika
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pier Alessandro Fanti
    • 1
  • Sabina Vaccari
    • 1
  • Elisa Capizzi
    • 2
  • Alessio Degiovanni
    • 2
  • Agnese Gobbi
    • 1
  • Bianca Maria Piraccini
    • 1
  • Simone Ribero
    • 3
  • Carlotta Baraldi
    • 1
  • Giulia Maria Ravaioli
    • 1
  • Michelangelo Fiorentino
    • 2
  • Annalisa Patrizi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dermatology, Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty MedicineUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory of Oncologic and Transplantation Molecular Pathology, S. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.DermatologyUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

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