Evidence of androgen receptor expression in squamous and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus

T. Tihan, J. W. Harmon, X. Wan, Z. Younes, P. Nass, K. L.K. Duncan, M. D. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Androgen receptors (AR) are known to stimulate cellular proliferation in certain tumors. We have assessed the androgen receptor status of esophageal carcinoma in surgically resected specimens as well as in established human esophageal carcinoma cells lines. In these initial studies we sought to characterize the frequency of expression of androgen receptors in squamous versus adenocarcinoma and in male versus female patients, and to assess the possible influence of AR expression on survival. We analyzed androgen receptor expression utilizing immunohistochemistry in adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus in surgical specimens from 25 patients treated at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Tumors in 7 of 21 males (33%) and 1 of 4 females (25%) showed positive androgen receptor staining with the monoclonal body antibody AR 441. There was no suggestion of a difference in expression of AR between males and females. Five of 11 adenocarcinomas (45%) and 3 of 14 squamous carcinomas were positive. Survival was similar in AR+ and AR- patients. Studies with established tissue culture cell lines showed AR expression by RT-PCR, with stronger expression of AR in adenocarcinoma lines than in squamous carcinoma lines. The presence of AR in human esophageal cancer is an impetus for further studies to assess anti-androgen therapy for treatment and or prevention of these tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3107-3114
Number of pages8
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number4 B
StatePublished - Nov 22 2001


  • Adrogen receptor
  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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