The possible role of specific progesterone receptor (PR) isoforms (PRA and PRB) as predictive factors in endometrial carcinoma is unclear. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the clinical significance of intratumoral PR isoform status in patients with endometrioid endometrial carcinoma. We studied 103 cases of endometrioid endometrial carcinoma using immunohistochemistry. We correlated the findings with various clinicopathological parameters of the patients. PRA and PRB immunoreactivity was detected in 51/103 (48.5%) and 79/103 (76.7%) of carcinoma cases, respectively. A significant positive correlation was detected between the status of PRB immunoreactivity and the amount of PRB mRNA by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (P = 0.012). PR isoform expression was significantly lower in the cases with higher histological grade (P = 0.0001 and P = 0.002, for PRA and PRB, respectively). Cases that were negative for either one or both PR isoforms were significantly associated with shorter disease-free and overall survival of the patients. The absence of either one or both of these two PR isoforms was detected in all nine patients who died (100.0%), whereas the absence of these immunoreactivities was detected only in 43 of 94 (45.7%) patients who had lived during the same period. In addition, multivariate analysis demonstrated that an absence of PRA immunoreactivity was an independent risk factor in disease-free survival of the patients (P = 0.0258). The results of our study demonstrated that loss or absence of PR isoform expression determined by immunohistochemistry could become an important prognostic indicator in patients with endometrioid endometrial carcinoma.
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