Aandrogen receptor status predicts development of brain metastases in ovarian cancers

Gloria Mittica, Rebecca Senetta, Giulia Scotto, Massimo Aglietta, Furio Maggiorotto, Eleonora Ghisoni, Sofia Genta, Renzo Boldorini, Claudia Manini, Isabella Morra, Roberta Buosi, Anna Sapino, Paola Cassoni, Giorgio Valabrega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain metastases are uncommon localizations in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), their reported incidence is increasing and no predictive biomarkers have been identified yet. Goals of this study were: i) to define a possible association between Estrogen Receptor (ER), Progesterone Receptor (PR), Androgen Receptor (AR),human EGF receptor 2 (HER2) and brain progression in EOC patients, and ii) to identify differences in ER, PR, AR and HER2 protein expression from primary EOC and its matched resected brain metastasis. A retrospective series of 11 EOC with matched brain metastasis surgically removed was collected. For comparison, a "Control dataset" of 22 patients, without evidence of brain involvement after an adequate follow up was matched. ER, PR, AR and HER2 status were analyzed by means of immunohistochemistry forCases (both primary and metastatic lesions) and Controls. Univariate analysis showed that AR status was significantly associated with brain localization, both considered as discrete variable (cut-off: 10%, p=0.013) and as continuous one (p=0.035). Multivariate analysis confirmed this trend (p=0.053). When considered as continuous variables, ER and AR showed greater expression in primary tumors in comparison with brain metastases (p=0.013 and p=0.032, respectively). In our series, AR predicts brain involvement, with a 9.5 times higher propensity for AR-negative EOC. Moreover, brain dissemination is probably the result of progressive dedifferentiation of primary tumor, shown by reduction of ER and AR expression in metastases. Further studies are required, in order to anticipate and improve multimodal treatment of brain metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41143-41153
Number of pages11
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Androgen receptor
  • Brain metastases
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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