Erythropoietin receptor expression in biopsy specimens from patients with uterine cervix squamous cell carcinoma

Int J Gynecol Cancer. Mar-Apr 2006;16(2):752-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1438.2006.00357.x.


Hypoxia, an important mechanism of radioresistance, is a strong stimulus for erythropoietin (EPO) production. The stimulatory effects of EPO are mediated through the activation of its receptors, EPO receptors (EPORs). The objective of this study is to determine whether EPORs are expressed in biopsy specimens of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix. Eighteen biopsy specimens were studied after obtaining Institutional Review Board-approved consent. Standard immunohistochemistry techniques were utilized. Expression of EPORs was present in 16 out of 18 (88.9%) specimens. The intensity (qualitative) and the frequency (semiquantitative) of EPORs expression showed a statistically significant correlation (P= 0.00379). Statistical analysis was performed to determine whether EPORs expression is related to other parameters such as age, FIGO stage, histologic grade, and hemoglobin levels. Only age showed a statistically significant correlation with EPORs frequency of expression (P= 0.00878). Currently, work is in progress in our laboratory to study the radiobiologic effects of EPO on the radiation response of cultured cancer cell lines in vitro.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Receptors, Erythropoietin / metabolism*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptors, Erythropoietin