Steroid receptors and clinical outcome in patients with adenocarcinoma of the endometrium

Clarence E. Ehrlich, Peter C.M. Young, Frederick B. Stehman, Gregory P. Sutton, William M. Alford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

171 Scopus citations


Progesterone receptor content was measured in tissue samples from 175 patients with endometrial adenocarcinoma by use of the dextran-charcoal method. The estradiol receptor content was determined in 138 of these samples. Ninety-two tumors (52.6%) tested positive for progesterone receptors (50 fmol/mg cytosol protein) and 111 (80.4%) tested positive for estradiol receptors (6 fmol/mg). Median follow-up was 27.3 months (range 1 to 152 months). Progesterone receptor status correlated significantly with grade, histology, adnexal spread, age, and recurrence rate in stage I cancer. There was no correlation between progesterone receptor status and clinical stage, myometrial invasion, peritoneal cytology, retroperitoneal lymph node involvement, or spread to the cervix. Estradiol receptor status correlated with adnexal spread and recurrence rate. Recurrence in patients with stage I disease was significantly more common if tumors were negative for progesterone receptor (16 of 43, 37.2%) than if they were positive (four of 57, 7%; p < 0.001). Recurrence was also more common if tumors were negative for estradiol receptor (seven of 17, 41.2%) than if they were positive (eight of 63, 12.7%; p = 0.02). In recurrent or advanced disease, response to progestin was independent of estradiol receptor content, but tumors positive for progesterone receptors responded significantly more often than those lacking progesterone receptors. Overall survival was superior for patients with progesterone receptor-positive tumors (p = 0.001). Although survival in clinical stages I and II was also superior in patients with lesions positive for progesterone receptors (p = 0.13), there was no statistical difference in survival between patients with progesterone receptor-positive or -negative cancers and surgical stages I and II disease (p = 0.12). Estradiol receptor status had no apparent correlation with survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-805
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1988


  • endometrial cancer
  • progestin therapy
  • prognosis
  • Steroid receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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