Objective: To determine whether renal angiomyolipomas from women with pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) express estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR).
Design: Retrospective study of archival tissue.
Patients: Twelve women with LAM and angiomyolipomas.
Setting: Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Interventions: ER and PR expression was studied using immunohistochemistry. The hormonal status of the patients at the time of resection of the angiomyolipoma was determined.
Results: Ten of the angiomyolipomas had ER immunoreactivity (83%), and all 12 had PR immunoreactivity (100%). The ER and PR positivity was in the smooth muscle component of the angiomyolipomas only. For five women, pulmonary LAM specimens were also available; two were ER positive (40%), and all five were PR positive (100%). All four angiomyolipomas from women receiving progesterone therapy were ER and PR positive. One tumor from a woman receiving tamoxifen was ER negative and strongly PR positive. One woman was pregnant; her tumor was ER and PR positive.
Conclusions: ER and PR expression is frequent in renal angiomyolipoma cells from women with LAM. PR was more consistently present than ER in angiomyolipomas and in LAM. Our data suggest that angiomyolipoma growth could be affected by hormonal factors. If the growth of LAM-associated angiomyolipomas slows during hormonal therapy, there are two potential implications for LAM patients: first, angiomyolipoma size could serve as a measurable indication of response to hormonal therapy; and second, surgical removal of angiomyolipomas might be avoided in some cases.