Expression of hormone receptors in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma



Mohamed H, Aro K, Jouhi L, Mäkitie A, Remes S, Haglund C, Atula T, Hagström J.


Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2018 May;275(5):1289-1300. doi: 10.1007/s00405-018-4949-9. Epub 2018 Mar 26.


OBJECTIVES: Hormone receptors play an important role in many types of cancers. Alongside factors associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, hormonal receptors may impact the tumorigenesis of oropharyngeal cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study consists of 199 consecutive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) patients diagnosed and treated with a curative intent. We examined androgen (AR), estrogen (ER; both alpha and beta), and progesterone receptor (PR) expressions using immunohistochemistry comparing tumor and patient characteristics. RESULTS: AR was expressed in 16%, PR in 27% and ER-beta in 63% of the tumors. HPV- and p16-positive tumors expressed more AR and less PR than their negative counterparts. High PR expression was associated with poor disease-specific and locoregional recurrence-free survival. CONCLUSION: AR, PR, and ER-beta are expressed in OPSCC, and AR and PR expressions are associated with HPV and p16 status. Furthermore, PR appears to have prognostic significance. This may allow us to investigate the role of anti-hormone receptors in the treatment of OPSCC.

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Link/DOI: 10.1007/s00405-018-4949-9