Clinical value of the wild-type estrogen receptor beta expression in breast cancer

Cancer Lett. 2001 Feb 26;163(2):207-12. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(00)00680-7.


To estimate the clinical value of estrogen receptor (ER) beta expression in breast cancer we used an immunohistochemical method to detect the wild-type ERbeta in 88 primary breast cancers. We used a highly specific polyclonal antibody to the carboxyl terminus of wild-type ERbeta. This antibody reacted with neither other variant forms of ERbeta nor any part of ERalpha. Slides were evaluated on a scale representing the estimated proportion and intensity of positive-staining tumor cells. Positive staining could be seen in 52 (59.1%) of 88 breast cancers; 36 (40.9%) were negative. Although there was no correlation between ERbeta staining and age, node status, tumor size, histological grade, or progesterone receptor (PgR)-enzyme immunoassay (EIA) status, we did observe a significant correlation with ERalpha-EIA (Fisher's exact probability test: P=0.0169). Moreover, ERbeta positive cases showed a better prognosis than negative cases in disease-free survival rate (Logrank test: P=0.0662, Breslow-Gehan-Wilcoxson test: P=0.0318). Our data demonstrated the possibility that wild-type ERbeta protein expression could be used as a good prognostic indicator for breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Medullary / metabolism
  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / genetics
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism


  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone