J Breast Cancer.  2005 Sep;8(3):99-104. 10.4048/jbc.2005.8.3.99.

Comparison of estrogen receptor beta expression between breast cancer and normal mammary tissue and relationship with clinicopathological factors

  • 1Department of Surgery, Yonsei University, College of Medicine.
  • 2Brain Korea 21 Project, Yonsei University, College of Medicine.
  • 3Department of Pathology, Yonsei University, College of Medicine.


To verify the difference of estrogen receptor beta (ER beta) expression between breast cancer and normal mammary tissue and the roles of ER beta in prognosis of breast cancer, its expression was investigated in normal mammary and breast cancer tissues METHODS: The ER beta expression of 89 normal mammary and 100 breast cancer tissues was examined using immunohistochemistry. The staining signal was scored by estimating the proportion (range, 0-5) and intensity scores (range, 0-3) of positive cells. The ER beta expression was considered as positive if the total score (IHC score; range, 0-8) was 3 or more. The ER beta expressions were compared between normal mammary and breast cancer tissues. The association of ER beta expression with other clinicopathological factors was also investigated. The distant relapse free survival (DRFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were compared according to the ER beta expression. RESULTS: Eighty-eight of the 89 (98.9%) cases of normal mammary tissues and 74 of the 89 (83.1%) counterpart breast cancer tissues showed positive staining with decreased ER beta expression in the breast cancer compared to the normal mammary tissue with statistical significance (p=0.026). In breast cancer, the ER beta expression was found to have a positive correlation with the ER expression but with only marginal significance (p=0.063). There was no correlation between the ER beta expression and other clinicopathological factors (age, tumor size, nodal status, histological grade, progesterone receptor status, and HER-2 expression). The 5 year DRFS and OS rates were found to be independent of ER beta expression. CONCLUSION: The ER beta expression was significantly decreased in cancer tissues. Further study with a sufficient number of patients is needed to verify the roles of ER beta during breast cancer carcinogenesis and clinical value.


breast cancer; estrogen receptor beta; prognostic factor

MeSH Terms

Breast Neoplasms*
Estrogen Receptor beta*
Receptors, Progesterone
Estrogen Receptor beta
Receptors, Progesterone
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