Expression of estrogen receptors in gastric cancer and their clinical significance

J Surg Oncol. 2012 Sep 15;106(4):456-61. doi: 10.1002/jso.23097. Epub 2012 Mar 15.


Backgrounds and objectives: The male predominance of gastric cancer suggests that female sex hormones may have a protective effect against gastric cancer. We evaluated the expression of estrogen receptors in gastric cancer tissue and cells and the clinical significance of ER-β expression in gastric cancer.

Method: ER-α, ER-β proteins extracted from normal stomach, gastric cancer tissues, and cultured gastric cancer cells (KATO-III, mkn28, mkn45, and mkn74) were assessed by Western blot analysis. The clinical significance of ER-β was explored using tissue microarray methods and immunohistochemical staining of specimens from 148 gastric cancers.

Results: Both ER-α and β protein expression were noted in normal and gastric cancer tissues. However, in cultured gastric cells, only ER-β was noted in mkn28 and mkn74. Of 148 gastric cancers, 67 (45.3%) were ER-β positive. The ER-β positive group was associated with lower tumor stage, Lauren's intestinal type, negative perineural invasion, and free of recurrence. The ER-β positive group had a better 3-year survival compared with the negative group in survival analysis.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the presence of ER-β in gastric cancer could have a protective effect against invasiveness of gastric cancer. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of ER-β in gastric cancers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / analysis
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / analysis*
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prognosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tissue Array Analysis


  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • estrogen receptor alpha, human