Sex-steroid hormone receptors in human medullary thyroid carcinoma
Three complementary techniques were used to detect sex-steroid hormone receptors in tumor tissues from seven patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma: steroid binding analysis, enzyme immune assay, and immunohistochemistry. The presence of estrogen receptors was detected by steroid binding analysis in one of seven patients, although in very low concentrations (3.17 to 5.06 fmol/mg protein). These results were confirmed by enzyme immune assay (6.35 to 9.32 fmol/mg protein). Progesterone receptors were found in five of seven patients by steroid binding analysis (11.1 to 47.9 fmol/mg protein), and progesterone receptor results were confirmed by enzyme immune assay (8.1 to 34.1 fmol/mg protein). By immunohistochemistry, progesterone receptors were focally detected in all cases, whereas all tumors were negative for estrogen receptors. In summary, our results confirm the presence of sex-steroid hormone receptors, particularly progesterone receptors in medullary thyroid carcinoma. The presence of progesterone receptors in medullary thyroid carcinoma apparently does not require the continuous presence of estrogen receptors.
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