Heterogeneity in hormone receptor status in primary and metastatic endometrial cancer

Carolyn D. Runowicz, Lisa M. Nuchtern, Joseph D. Braunstein, Joan G. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The rationale for endocrine therapy in patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma may be based on the presence of estrogen or progesterone receptors in the primary tumor. A study was designed to evaluate tumor cell heterogeneity of steroid hormone receptors in the primary and metastatic sites in endometrial cancer. Primary endometrial cancer tissue samples from 10 patients and 16 metastatic tumor sites were simultaneously analyzed for estrogen and progesterone receptors, using a radioligand biochemical assay. The primary tumor was estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) positive in 70 and 60% of the patients, respectively. The metastatic sites were ER positive in 63% and PR positive in 25%. The primary tumor tissue and the metastatic disease showed an identical ER and PR status in only 25 and 19%, respectively. Four patients had multiple metastatic sites analyzed. In two of four patients the PR values, and in three of four patients the ER values, in these metastatic sites were discordant. These data support the concept of tumor cell heterogeneity for steroid hormone receptors in endometrial cancer. To optimize treatment planning, it may be important to biopsy primary, metastatic, and recurrent tumor sites for individual analysis of receptor activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-441
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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