The Prognostic Impact of Tumor Cell Expression of Estrogen receptor-α, Progesterone Receptor, and Androgen Receptor in Patients Irradiated for Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer

Cancer. 2012 Jan 1;118(1):157-63. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26282. Epub 2011 Jun 28.


Background: The current study was performed to investigate the potential impact of tumor cell expression of estrogen receptor-α (ER-α), progesterone receptor (PR), and androgen receptor (AR) on the outcomes of patients who received radiotherapy (RT) for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods: Tumor cell expression of ER-α, PR, and AR as well as 9 additional potential prognostic factors were retrospectively evaluated in 64 patients who underwent RT for AJCC stage II/III NSCLC. The endpoints investigated were locoregional control, metastases-free survival, and overall survival. The additional potential prognostic factors were age, gender, Karnofsky performance score, histology, T classification, N classification, surgery, smoking during RT, and hemoglobin levels during RT. Subgroup analyses were performed for women and men.

Results: On univariate analysis, locoregional control was not found to be associated with expression of PR or AR. ER-α expression demonstrated a strong trend toward worse locoregional control. On multivariate analysis, ER-α expression was found to be significantly associated with worse locoregional control (risk ratio [RR], 3.12; P = .035). On univariate analysis, metastases-free survival was not associated with expression of ER-α, PR, or AR. On univariate analysis, survival was found to be negatively associated with expression of ER-α (P = .003) but not with PR or AR expression. On multivariate analysis, ER-α expression maintained significance (RR, 2.73; P = .022).

Conclusions: Tumor cell expression of ER-α was found to be a negative prognostic factor for treatment outcomes in both women and men. Expression of PR and AR was not associated with outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / radiotherapy
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Androgen / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / biosynthesis*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Receptors, Progesterone