Role of progesterone in endometrial cancer

Semin Reprod Med. 2010 Jan;28(1):81-90. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1242998. Epub 2010 Jan 26.


Progesterone is a key hormone in the endometrium that opposes estrogen-driven growth. Insufficient progesterone will result in unopposed estrogen action that could lead to the development of endometrial hyperplasia and adenocarcinoma. Although these endometrial neoplasias can regress in response to progestin treatment, this does not occur in all instances. To understand this resistance to progesterone and to improve on existing hormonal therapies, it is imperative that the molecular mechanisms of progesterone action through its receptor be deciphered in endometrial cancer. This review highlights what is known thus far regarding the efficacy of progestin therapy in the clinic and the role of progesterone in endometrial cancer cell behavior and gene regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Endometrium / drug effects
  • Endometrium / metabolism*
  • Endometrium / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Progesterone / metabolism*
  • Progesterone / therapeutic use*
  • Progestins / pharmacology
  • Progestins / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism


  • Progestins
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Progesterone