Background/aims: Estrogen (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR) have been evaluated in gastrointestinal cancer by several groups with conflicting results. The aim of the study is to examine the presence of these receptors in gastric and colon cancer.
Methodology: Estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) receptors were assayed by the dextran-coated charcoal adsorption method from malignant and normal adjacent tissues in 16 patients with gastric adenocarcinomas and in 10 with colorectal adenocarcinomas.
Results: In gastric cancer, ER were detected in 62.5% and PR in 75% of the patients. In colorectal cancer, the ER and PR were detected in 60% of the patients. The binding activity ranged from 1.14-9.27 fmol/mg protein for estradiol and from 1.43-10.84 fmol/mg protein for progesterone. ER and PR were detected in normal gastric tissue in 62.5% and in 50%, respectively. In the normal colorectal tissue the ER and PR were detected in 30% and 50%. ER ranged from 1.20-16.63 fmol/mg protein for estradiol and from 1.44-9.94 fmol/mg protein for progesterone. There was no statistical difference in levels of ER and PR in both tissues.
Conclusions: ER and PR were detected in normal and cancer tissues in low levels, suggesting a feature of the tissue rather than a consequence of a malignant process. Eventual role of ER or PR in these cancers remains to be elucidated.