The aim of this study was to To investigate correlations between serum progesterone and serum estradiol levels and expression of tissue tumor markers in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and normal epithelium.
Materials and methods: Eighty women of fertile ages with cervical biopsies ranging histologically from normal to CIN III were included. Expression of eleven tumor markers was studied. Serum levels of progesterone and estradiol were analyzed. Exclusion criterion was hormonal contraceptive use.
Results: In normal epithelium, low progesterone levels correlated to expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and CD4+. In initial analyses of CIN, high progesterone levels correlated with expression of retinoblastoma protein, p16 and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), but after adjustment for CIN grade, only correlation to COX-2 expression remained significant. Expression of COX-2 and CD4(+) correlated to serum estradiol levels in CIN.
Conclusion: Serum levels of progesterone and estradiol appear to correlate with increased COX-2 expression in CIN. In addition, the study shows that evaluation of expression of tumor markers must take into account the grade of CIN.