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Pathol Oncol Res. 2009 Dec;15(4):561-6. doi: 10.1007/s12253-009-9154-0. Epub 2009 Feb 28.

Overexpression of glucocorticoid receptor in human pancreatic cancer and in xenografts. An immunohistochemical study.

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First Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research, Faculty of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Ulloi út 26, 1085, Budapest, Hungary.


Glucocorticoid receptor overexpression has been reported in a variety of human solid tumors, but much less in known about its presence in pancreatic cancer. Only one report is available in the literature, back to 1994, since that no peculiar attention has been paid to this issue. Immunohistochemical analysis of paraffin-embedded tissue sections was performed in human normal pancreata and well differentiated pancreatic adenocarcinomas (monoclonal primary antibody, ABCAM, Cambridge, UK). As positive control invasive ductal adenocarcinoma of the breast was used. In the normal non-tumorous pancreas a strong positivity was detected in all acinar cells, typically in the cytoplasm. Nuclear staining was not visible. The distribution of the positive reaction was homogenous. The ductal pancreatic carcinoma cells also displayed a strong positivity. The location of the immune reaction was mainly cytoplasmic but in some tumors a strong nuclear reaction was also noticed. In some slides acini remained also positive in the close vicinity of the tumor. Although the positivity of the ductal tumor cells was a constant finding in our samples, surprisingly, the liver metastasis was completely negative. Strong glucocorticoid receptor expression was also found in xenografted human pancreatic cancer showing a diffuse, mainly cytoplasmic positivity. Our studies have shown that the human pancreatic carcinomas do overexpress a strong glucocorticoid receptor positivity, but its significance is not clear. However, this finding might have a clinical relevance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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