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Ann Surg. 1990 Aug;212(2):150-4.

Clinicopathologic comparisons between estrogen receptor-positive and -negative hepatocellular carcinomas.

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  • 1Second Department of Surgery, Shimane Medical University, Izumo, Japan.


During the past 8 years, estrogen receptors (ERs) in the cytosol of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were assayed in 66 unselected patients without preceding treatments on whom radical hepatic resection was performed. Twenty-six patients had ERs of 0.9 to 13.4 fmol/mg protein with a mean dissociation constant of 7.8 x 10(-10) M. The remaining 40 patients had no detectable amount of the receptor. There were no substantial differences between the ER-positive and ER-negative groups in preoperative clinical and laboratory data such as sex, age, alcohol abuse, underlying liver disease, and hepatic functions. Large tumors were more common in the ER-negative group and therefore the incidence of major hepatic resection was significantly higher in this group. Histopathologic studies revealed no substantial differences between the two groups. Operative mortality rate was 11.5% in the ER-positive and 12.5% in the ER-negative group. Excluding eight operative deaths, the rate of tumor recurrence in the residual liver and long-term survival rate were identical for the two study groups. The current results may indicate that the presence or absence of ERs in human HCC does not correlate to either biologic or pathologic characteristics of this tumor, but the true role of ERs in human HCC remains to be elucidated.

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