A gender difference has been reported in the morbidity of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Estrogens have been proposed to play a role in this difference but the details have not yet been clarified. Therefore, in the present study, we examined the status of estrogen receptor (ER)α and ERβ in 90 Japanese ESCC patients. ERα and ERβ immunoreactivity was detected in the nuclei of ESCC cells (41.1 and 97.8%, respectively). There was a significant positive association between the ERβ H score and histological differentiation (P = 0.0403), TNM-pM (LYM) (P = 0.00164) and Ki67/MIB1 LI of carcinoma cells (P = 0.0497, r = 0.207). In addition, the ERβ status of carcinoma cells was significantly correlated with unfavorable clinical outcome of the patients. Multivariate analysis further revealed the ERβ status in carcinoma cells as an independent unfavorable prognostic factor of these patients. We further examined the effects of estrogen treatment on ESCC cell line (ECGI-10) transfected with ERα or ERβ in vitro. The number of ECGI-10 transfected with ERβ was increased by estradiol or ERβ specific agonist but estradiol did not exert any effect upon the cell number of ECGI-10 transfected with ERα. In summary, the results of the present study clearly demonstrate that the status of ERβ in ESCC was closely associated with the unfavorable prognosis, possibly through altering cell proliferation of carcinoma cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research