High progesterone receptor expression in prostate cancer is associated with clinical failure

PLoS One. 2015 Feb 27;10(2):e0116691. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116691. eCollection 2015.


Background: Prostate cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease and one of the leading causes of mortality in developed countries. Specific prognostic and predictive markers for prostate cancer patients are still lacking. A causal relationship between androgens and the development of prostate cancer is generally considered biologically plausible, but androgens are not the sole effector in the complexity of prostate carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of progesterone receptor in tumor tissue of T1-3N0 prostate cancer patients undergoing prostatectomy.

Methods: Tissue microarrays from 535 patients with prostate cancer were constructed. Duplicate cores of tumor cells and tumor stromal tissue from each resected specimen were extracted. Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate the in-situ expression of progesterone receptor.

Results: In univariate analyses, high tumor cell density (p = 0.006) and high tumor stromal cell density level (p = 0.045) of progesterone receptor were both significantly associated with tumor progression and clinical failure. In multivariate analysis, progesterone receptor expression in tumor cells was an independent negative prognostic factor for clinical failure (HR: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.2-5.2, p = 0.012).

Conclusion: High progesterone receptor density in tumor cells of the prostate cancer tumor is an independent negative prognostic factor for clinical failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Outcome Assessment
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Receptors, Progesterone / genetics
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Failure


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptors, Progesterone

Grant support

This work was supported by the the Norwegian Health Department (http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/hod.html?id=421), the Norwegian Cancer Association (https://kreftforeningen.no/en/main-priorities/), UIT - The Arctic University of Norway (http://en.uit.no/startsida), Northern Norway Regional Health Authority (Helse Nord RHF) (http://www.helse-nord.no/?lang=en_US), funding number 30125/30012. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.