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Acta Clin Croat. 2011 Jun;50(2):169-75.

Expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors in human ductal invasive breast carcinoma not otherwise specified: is there any difference between premenopausal and postmenopausal women?

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School of Medicine, University of Mostar, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Determination of hormone receptors is of utmost importance in planning therapy in patients with breast cancer. The aim of the study was to assess the expression of estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) receptors in ductal invasive breast carcinoma not otherwise specified (NOS) according to patient menopausal state and tumor histopathology. The study included 549 patients treated at University Department of Surgery, Rijeka University Hospital Center, between January 1, 2000 andJanuary 1, 2005. The patients were diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent mastectomy. ER and PR status was determined by immunohistochemistry. Study results showed no statistically significant differences in the expression of ER and PR, tumor size and grade of histologic differentiation between premenopausal and postmenopausal women. However, tumor size and grade of histologic differentiation differed significantly according to the expression of hormone receptors. Tumors greater than 5 cm in size were mostly ER- in premenopausal (P = 0.012) and PR- in postmenopausal (P = 0.044) patients. Poorly differentiated cancers were associated with ER-PR-status in both premenopausal and postmenopausal patients (P < 0.001). Hormone dependent tumors (ER+PR+) were of smaller diameter and lower histologic grade, while hormone independent tumors (ER-PR-) had greater diameter and higher histologic grade, the difference being statistically significant (P = 0.004 and P < 0.001, respectively). Study results on the characteristics of ductal invasive carcinoma according to hormone status were consistent with those described in the literature. Considering controversies about the role of steroid receptors in endocrine therapy response, our future objective is assessment of the 5-year prognosis in our patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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