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Steroid Hormone Receptors in Astrocytic Neoplasms

Carroll, Rona S. Ph.D.; Zhang, Jianping M.S.; Dashner, Kathleen B.A.; Sar, Madhabananda Ph.D.; Black, Peter McL. M.D., Ph.D.

Experimental Study

THE PRESENCE OF specific steroid hormone-binding receptors has been correlated with the clinical response to hormonal therapy in a number of different neoplasias, including breast and prostate cancer. In this article, we investigated the expression of the androgen, estrogen, glucocorticoid, and progesterone receptor messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) and protein in a number of astrocytic neoplasms of various histological grades. Androgen and glucocorticoid receptor mRNA were detected in all astrocytic neoplasms examined, regardless of histological subtype. In contrast, progesterone receptor mRNA was observed more frequently in high-grade tumors than in low-grade tumors. Estrogen receptor mRNA was undetectable in all astrocytic tumors examined. These studies suggest a possible adjunct clinical use of hormonal therapy for the treatment of astrocytomas. Specific antagonists and agonists may allow the modulation of the growth of these tumors. Development of this body of knowledge may lead to the development of better treatment for these aggressive tumors.

Neurosurgical Laboratories and Brain Tumor Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital (RSC, JZ, KD, MS, PMcLB), The Children's Hospital (RSC, JZ, KD, MS, PMcLB), and Dana Farber Cancer Institute (PMcLB), Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Laboratories for Reproductive Biology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine (MS), Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Reprint requests: Rona S. Carroll, Ph.D., Brigham and Women's Hospital, 221 Longwood Avenue, Room 121, Boston, MA 02115.

Received, December 8, 1994. Accepted, March 20, 1995.

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons