BioScience Trends. 2010;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.

Santos GAC, Cunha IW, Rocha RM, Mello CAL, Guimarães GC, Fregnani JH, Lopes A


The present study evaluates the protein expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), estrogen receptor beta (ERβ), 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 ERα, ERβ, PR, and c-kit. All cases were negative for ERα, PR and c-KIT. 53/59 cases were positive for ERβ. No significant difference was observed among clinical variables and the ERβ 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.

KEYWORDS: Immunohistochemistry, hormone receptors, desmoids tumors

Full Text: