IMR Press / EJGO / Volume 36 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.12892/ejgo2522.2015

European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with S.O.G.

Open Access Original Research
Expression of estrogen receptors in melanoma and sentinel lymph nodes; a “female” clinical entity or a possible treatment modality?
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1 Department of Surgery, University Hospital of Patras, Rion
2 Department of Pathology, University Hospital of Patras, Rion
3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital of Patras, Rion (Greece)
Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 2015, 36(2), 117–122;
Published: 10 April 2015

Purpose: The natural history of human malignant melanoma suggests that steroid hormones may affect the biological behavior of this tumor. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the specific immunostaining patterns of estrogen receptors in malignant melanomas and their sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs), as well as to examine any possible association with patients’ prognosis and overall survival. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data was conducted during a 12-year period (2001-2012). Sixty patients with mean age of 54.4 ± 14.5 years diagnosed with melanomas of varying depth (Clark) and thickness (Breslow) after excision biopsy of pre-existing melanocytic lesions, were included in the study. All patients underwent wide excision of the primary tumor and SLN identification. Determination of estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) and beta (ERb) status by immunohistochemistry on tumor and nodal paraffin blocks was performed in all feasible cases. Results: ERb but not ERa was the predominant estrogen receptor found in all primary tumors and SLNs examined. The most intense ERb immunostaining was seen in negative SLNs associated with thinner, less invading melanomas. ERb expression in the primary tumor seems to correlate with the cellular microenvironment, possibly altering the process of SLN invasion. Conclusions: ERb expression is down-regulated in aggressive melanomas with sentinel nodal metastatic disease, suggesting its possible usefulness as a surrogate marker for metastatic potential and prognosis in malignant melanoma.
Malignant melanoma
Sentinel lymph node
Estrogen receptors
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