Author(s): Halon A, NowakMarkwitz E, Maciejczyk A, Pudelko M, Gansukh T
BACKGROUND: Estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) belongs to a large family of nuclear receptors. Recent studies have suggested that ERβ in contrast to ERα might act as a tumour suppressor in ovarian cancer (OVCA). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Expression of ERβ was detected by immunocytochemistry in 11 OVCA cell lines and by immunohistochemistry in 43 (41 FIGO stage III) OVCA specimens prepared before chemotherapy and 30 specimens from the same group after chemotherapy. Cisplatin sensitivity in the 11 cell lines was also analysed. RESULTS: No significant correlations between cisplatin-sensitivity and expression of ERβ was found in the cell lines. In the cases which responded well to chemotherapy (complete response) ERβ expression at preliminary laparotomy (PL) was significantly higher (p = 0.0004) than in those with progressive disease. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that the patients with higher ERβ expression (>30% of cells) at PL had an increased overall survival time and progression-free time (p = 0.00161 and p = 0.03255, respectively) than the patients with lower ERβ expression. Significantly shorter overall survival time characterized the cases with lower immunoreactivity score of ERβ expression at secondary cytoreduction (SCR) (p = 0.00346). CONCLUSION: The loss of ERβ expression in ovarian tumours may be a feature of malignant transformation.