Tissue microarray immunohistochemical expression of estrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptors in uterine leiomyomata and leiomyosarcoma

Cancer. 2004 Sep 15;101(6):1455-62. doi: 10.1002/cncr.20521.


Background: Benign uterine leiomyomata (LMA) are hormonally responsive neoplasms. To the authors' knowledge, little is known regarding the hormonal expression patterns of leiomyosarcomas (LMSs) of the uterus. The objective of the current study was to assess the immunohistochemical (IHC) patterns of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and androgen receptor (AR) expression in LMA and LMS of the uterus using a tissue microarray. The authors also sought to assess the prognostic value of ER, PR, and AR expression in LMS.

Methods: Between January 1991 and March 2001, 25 patients were identified with primary uterine LMS for whom tissue was available. A tissue microarray was created with 3 representative cores from each of the LMS cases, as well as from 19 cases with benign uterine LMA. IHC staining was scored as follows: negative (0-1) and positive (2-3). Outcome analyses were performed for LMS only. First recurrence was determined from the time of the initial diagnosis. Survival was determined from the time of the initial diagnosis to last follow-up.

Results: ER, PR, and AR positivity in LMA compared with LMS was as follows: ER, 78% versus 40% (P = 0.03); PR, 88% versus 38% (P = 0.001); and AR, 32% versus 40% (P = 0.75). There was no difference noted with regard to IHC expression based on stage of LMS. The median overall survival for patients with LMS was 23.5 months (95% confidence interval, 19.5, NR). When adjusted for stage, PR and AR were found to be predictive of a lower risk of recurrence (P = 0.01 and P = 0.035, respectively). ER, PR, and AR were not found to be associated with overall survival after adjustment for stage. Tumor stage was found to be associated with survival (P = 0.005).

Conclusions: The rate of ER and PR expression was found to be significantly less in uterine LMS compared with LMA. ER, PR, and AR expression was observed in approximately 30-40% of uterine LMS cases. In the current series, PR and AR expression appeared to be associated with disease-free survival but were not found to correlate with overall survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leiomyoma / metabolism*
  • Leiomyosarcoma / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Uterine Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone