The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) is lower in women than in men, and sex steroids can be considered contributing factors because oral contraception usage and estrogen replacement therapy are associated with decreased risk. Conversely, colorectal polyp development in familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) begins during puberty. The objectives were to evaluate the relationship between the expression of these hormone receptors and adenoma-carcinoma progression, CRC stage and overall survival. We studied 120 A.C. Camargo Cancer Center patients diagnosed with either FAP-associated or spontaneous adenomatous polyps or CRC to determine the immunohistochemical expression levels of estrogen receptor (ER)-α, ER-β and the progesterone and androgen receptors (480 analyses). The ER-β expression levels differed between the groups: the group with FAP polyps had lower ER-β expression than that of the sporadic polyp group. With transformation of the sporadic polyps to cancer, there was a considerable decrease in ER-β expression (from 90% with strong expression to 80% with absent or weak expression) (p < 0.001). The ER-β expression was lower in T3/T4 tumors than in T1/T2 tumors (p = 0.015). The 5-year overall survival of CRC patients positively expressing ER-β exceeded that of patients without detectable expression levels (74.8% vs. 44.3%, respectively; p = 0.035). There was no significant expression of the androgen or progesterone receptor or ER-α among the groups. Differences in ER-β expression represent a potential mechanism through which estrogen might alter the susceptibility to colon cancer, thereby confirming the possibility of a protective role of estrogen against colorectal carcinogenesis.
Pathology & Oncology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 5, 2017