Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common thyroid cancer with multiple risk factors including exposure to ionizing radiation. Estrogens contribute to papillary carcinoma development by promoting cell proliferation and invasion of mutated epithelial follicular cells. The present study aimed to assess ER-α and PR expression in PTC and to correlate their expression with the clinicopathological parameters in this cancer.
This study included 62 primary and six metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma cases.
Nineteen and 38.7% of primary PTC cases showed positive nuclear expression for ER and PR, respectively. Metastatic cases showed 66.7% positive ER expression and all were negative for PR. Estrogen receptor expression showed significant higher positivity in metastatic compared to primary PTC (p = 0.02) and it was significantly associated with primary PTC associated with thyroiditis (p = .002). Progesterone receptor expression was significantly associated with old age in primary PTC (p = .003) and it showed significant coparallel expression with ER (p = .000).
Estrogen and progesterone receptors expressed in papillary thyroid carcinoma opening the door for further studies to verify if those patients could benefit from hormonal therapy. Estrogen receptor seems to have a role in metastatic process of PTC as malignant cells express it in metastatic more than primary site. The presence of lymphocytes in the stroma may promote ER expression in adjacent PTC, necessitating further studies on PTC cases associated with Hashimoto thyroiditis to verify this assumed relationship.
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Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.