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J Neurosurg. 2006 Aug;105(2):163-73.

Progesterone and estrogen receptors: opposing prognostic indicators in meningiomas.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205, USA.



The preponderance of progesterone receptors (PRs) and the scarcity of estrogen receptors (ERs) in meningiomas are well known. The expression of PRs may relate to tumor grade and recurrence. Cytogenetic abnormalities are associated with aggressive behavior, recurrence, and progression. In this study, the authors focus on the prognostic implications of hormone receptors in meningiomas to help determine the clinical and biological aggressiveness of tumors and their correlations with cytogenetic abnormalities.


Two hundred thirty-nine patients with meningiomas were separated into three groups. Group 1 (PR-positive group) comprised patients whose meningiomas displayed expression of PRs alone. Group 2 (receptor-negative group) included patients whose lesions did not have receptors for either progesterone or estrogen. Group 3 (ER-positive group) included patients whose tumors displayed expression of ERs. Clinical and histological findings, proliferative indices, tumor recurrence, and cytogenetic findings were analyzed by performing the Fisher exact test. Compared with the receptor-negative (Group 2) and ER-positive (Group 3) groups, the PR-positive group (Group 1) had a statistically significant lower proliferative index and a smaller number of patients in whom there were aggressive histopathological findings or changes in karyotype. In Groups 1, 2, and 3, the percentages of cases with aggressive histopathological findings were 10, 31, and 33%, respectively; the percentages of cases with chromosomal abnormalities were 50, 84, and 86%, respectively; and the percentages of cases in which there initially was no residual tumor but recurrence was documented were 5, 30, and 27%, respectively. A statistically significant increase in the involvement of chromosomes 14 and 22 was identified in receptor-negative and ER-positive de novo meningiomas, when compared with the PR-positive group. Abnormalities on chromosome 19 were statistically significantly higher in receptor-negative meningiomas than in PR-positive tumors.


The expression of the PR alone in meningiomas signals a favorable clinical and biological outcome. A lack of receptors or the presence of ERs in meningiomas correlates with an accumulation of qualitative and quantitative karyotype abnormalities, a higher proportional involvement of chromosomes 14 and 22 in de novo tumors, and an increasing potential for aggressive clinical behavior, progression, and recurrence of these lesions. Sex hormone receptor status should routinely be studied for its prognostic value, especially in female patients, and should be taken into account in tumor grading. The initial receptor status of a tumor may change in progression or recurrence of tumor.

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