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Biosci Trends. 2010 Feb;4(1):25-30.

Evaluation of estrogen receptor alpha, estrogen receptor beta, progesterone receptor, and cKIT expression in desmoids tumors and their role in determining treatment options.

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  • 1Department of Anatomic Pathology, Cancer Hospital A.C. Camargo, São Paulo, Brasil;


The present study evaluates the protein expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha), estrogen receptor beta (ERbeta), progesterone receptor (PR) and cKIT in a wide number of desmoids tumors and their role in determining treatment options. Fifty-nine cases classified as muscle aponeurotic fibromatosis were selected. Samples were grouped by tumor location in: head and neck, extremity and abdominal/trunk; type of resection of the primary tumor (complete resection with adequate margins, marginal resection and resection with inadequate margins); type of treatment (exclusive surgery, surgery followed by radiation therapy and surgery followed by tamoxifen or cyclooxygenase inhibitor). A tissue microarray (TMA) was built and the immunohistochemical reactions were performed against ERalpha, ERbeta, PR, and c-kit. All cases were negative for ERalpha, PR and c-KIT. 53/59 cases were positive for ERbeta. No significant difference was observed among clinical variables and the ERbeta status. The estimated 5 and 10 year local recurrence free survival (LRFS) for the patients with complete or marginal resection was 75% and 75%, respectively. Tumor location (p = 0.006) and type of resection (p = 0.001) were predictive of local relapse in the univariate analysis. All patients treated with post-operative tamoxifen were LRFS (p = 0.035). Head and neck and extremities lesions showed higher recurrence rates compared to abdominal/trunk lesions. Marginal resection was associated with local recurrence. In conclusion, although this is a retrospective study, the results presented can contribute to better understanding of the mechanisms under desmoid tumor development and can propose tamoxifen as a therapeutic option to be tested in prospective trials.

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