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Endocrine Abstracts (2015) 37 EP858 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.37.EP858

ECE2015 Eposter Presentations Thyroid cancer (90 abstracts)

The evaluation of sex hormone receptors in papillary thyroid cancer as an additional tool in the post-operative risk stratification and in the pre-gravidic counselling of women with persistent disease

Laura Fugazzola 1, , Simone De Leo 1, , Michela Perrino 1, , Stefania Rossi 3 , Delfina Tosi 4 , Valentina Cirello 5 , Carla Colombo 1, , Gaetano Bulfamante 3, , Leonardo Vicentini 6 & Guia Vannucchi 1

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1Endocrine Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda, Milan, Italy; 2Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 3Division of Pathology, San Paolo Hospital, Milan, Italy; 4Department of Health Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 5Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 6Endocrine Surgery Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda, Milan, Italy.


Thyroid cancer is highly prevalent in women aged 15–44 years, suggesting that in females the fertile age could be regarded as a risk factor. Consistently, in the last decades epidemiological and experimental findings indicated a possible role of oestrogens in the development and progression of differentiated thyroid tumours. We studied the expression of oestrogen receptor α (ER α) and Progesteron receptor (PR) in 182 female and male patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) and correlated it to clinical and molecular features. ER α and PR expression was found in 66.5 and 75.8% of patients respectively, and significantly correlated with larger tumour size and with the presence of metastatic neck lymph-nodes at diagnosis. Interestingly, the occurrence of the ‘receptor conversion’ phenomenon, already reported to have a negative prognostic effect in breast cancer, has been demonstrated for the first time in thyroid tumours. Indeed, almost all the ER α positive primary tumours analysed had ER α negative metastatic lymph-nodes. BRAFV600E mutation was detected in 23.2% of the tumours, with a higher prevalence in larger tumours and in those with a stronger ER α or PR staining. Finally, the follow-up of a woman with persistent PTC during pregnancy, highlighted the role of oestrogens in the progression of the disease. In conclusion, the expression of ER α and PR is frequent in PTC tumour tissues and it is significantly associated with a more aggressive presentation. Although their expression did not seem to influence the outcome of the disease, the evaluation of sex hormone receptors could be an additional tool in the post-operative risk stratification and might be useful in the pre-gravidic counselling of fertile women affected with persistent thyroid cancer.

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