Immunohistochemical expression of TAG-72 in normal and malignant endometrium: correlation of antigen expression with estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor levels

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Nov;161(5):1258-63. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(89)90678-9.


TAG-72 is a tumor-associated antigen that is expressed by secretory endometrium and most endometrial adenocarcinomas. We used immunohistochemical techniques to quantitate expression of TAG-72, estrogen receptor, and progesterone receptor in 21 normal endometria and 44 endometrial adenocarcinomas. In normal cycling endometrial glands, TAG-72 expression was related inversely to expression of receptors for estrogen and progesterone. This suggests that TAG-72 expression in normal endometrium may be hormonally regulated. Ninety-one percent of endometrial adenocarcinomas expressed immunohistochemically detectable TAG-72. The magnitude of TAG-72 expression did not correlate with other known prognostic factors in endometrial cancer such as histologic grade, depth of myometrial invasion, surgical stage, or steroid receptor status. The production of TAG-72 by most endometrial adenocarcinomas may represent nonspecific expression by cells that have dedifferentiated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism*
  • Reference Values
  • Uterine Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterus / immunology*
  • Uterus / metabolism


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • tumor-associated antigen 72