Background: Endometrial tumors arise from a hormonally responsive tissue. Defining subtypes by hormone receptor expression might better inform etiology and prediction of patient outcomes. We evaluated the potential role of tumor estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) expression to define endometrial cancer subtypes.
Methods: We measured semi-continuous ER and PR protein expression in tissue specimens from 360 endometrial primary tumors from the Nurses’ Health Study. To explore the impact of different definitions of marker positivity, we dichotomized ER and PR expression at different cut points in increments of 5% positive cells. Logistic regression was used to estimate associations between endometrial cancer risk factors, such as body mass index, with dichotomous ER or PR status. Reclassification statistics were used to assess whether adding dichotomous ER or PR status to standard prognostic factors of stage, grade, and histologic type would improve endometrial cancer-specific mortality prediction.
Results: Compared with not being obese, obesity increased the odds of having an ER-positive tumor at cut points of 0% to 20% [maximum OR, 2.92; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.34–6.33] as well as the odds of having a PR-positive tumor at cut points of 70% to 90% (maximum OR, 2.53; 95% CI, 1.36–4.68). Adding dichotomous tumor ER or PR status to the panel of standard predictors did not improve both model discrimination and calibration.
Conclusions: Obesity may be associated with greater endometrial tumor expression of ER and PR. Adding either marker does not appear to improve mortality prediction beyond the standard predictors.
Impact: Body mass index might explain some of the biological variation among endometrial tumors. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(5); 1–9. ©2017 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Online (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received October 13, 2016.
- Revision received December 8, 2016.
- Accepted December 9, 2016.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.