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Immunohistochemical Expression of Hormone Receptors in Melanoma of Pregnant Women, Nonpregnant Women, and Men

Zhou, Jane H. MD*; Kim, Kevin B. MD; Myers, Jeffrey N. MD, PhD; Fox, Patricia S. MS§; Ning, Jing PhD§; Bassett, Roland L. MS§; Hasanein, Hassan MD; Prieto, Victor G. MD, PhD*

The American Journal of Dermatopathology: January 2014 - Volume 36 - Issue 1 - p 74–79
doi: 10.1097/DAD.0b013e3182914c64
Original Study

Abstract: The survival advantage of women over men with cutaneous melanoma and the reports of accelerated progression of melanoma during pregnancy have led to studies of the effect of hormones and hormone receptors on the development and progression of melanoma. However, the results are inconclusive. We therefore evaluated the expression of estrogen receptor α, estrogen receptor β, and androgen receptor in melanomas of stage- and age-matched pregnant women, nonpregnant women, and men by immunohistochemical analysis of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded archival tissues. In addition, we also assessed the mitotic rate using the antiphosphohistone H3 antibody by immunohistochemistry. Our data showed a trend of more frequent expression of estrogen receptor β in the melanomas of pregnant patients than in the melanomas of male patients, without a significant difference observed between pregnant and nonpregnant women. However, no association between the expression of estrogen receptor β and survival was observed. The small cohort may have limited the statistical power of the study, and large-scale studies are needed to elucidate the potential role of estrogen receptor β as a prognostic marker of melanoma.

Departments of *Pathology,

Melanoma Medical Oncology,

Head and Neck Surgery, and

§Biostatistics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Reprints: Victor G. Prieto, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030 (e-mail:

Funded by the Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for Research Projects by Fellows at MD Anderson Cancer Center and supported in part by the National Institutes of Health via MD Anderson Cancer Center Support Grant (National Cancer Institute grant P30 CA016672) for the statistical analysis.

Disclosures: The authors declare no conflict of interests.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.