Hormone signaling pathways as treatment targets in renal cell cancer (Review)

Anna M. Czarnecka, Magdalena Niedzwiedzka, Camillo Porta, Cezary Szczylik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epidemiological, clinical, biochemical and genetic research has revealed that renal cell cancer (RCC) etiology is hormone-related. It was shown that hormone receptors are abnormally expressed in RCC cells. Abnormal endocrine stimulation also plays a significant role in RCC pathophysiology. Cellular proliferation, migration, angiogenesis, and drug resistance in RCC is modulated by para- and autocrine hormonal stimulation. In particular, RCC overexpression of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and its receptor was reported. On the contrary, corticotropin releasing hormone was reported to inhibit RCC cell proliferation and regulate angiogenesis. Overexpression of luteinizing hormone also promotes RCC tumor angiogenesis. Estrogen receptor α overexpression increases the transcriptional factor activity of hypoxia inducible factor HIF-1α, but estrogen receptor β has a cancer suppressive role. Glucocorticoid receptors and androgen receptor are markers of indolent RCC and assigned tumor suppressive activity. Proopiomelanocortin is upregulated in VHL-mutated renal cell carcinoma via Nur77 transcription factor signaling. In RCC, follicle-stimulating hormone receptor promotes angiogenesis and metastatic formation via VEGF release. Mineralocorticoid receptor overexpression promotes cell survival and increases RCC cell proliferation. Vitamin D receptor expression is downregulated or absent in RCC and differentiate subtypes of renal cell tumors. RAR-β promotes tumorigenesis but retinoic acid receptor γ expression correlates negatively with the TNM stage at diagnosis. Finally, progesterone receptor expression is negatively correlated with the cancer stage. Molecular data analysis revealed the possibility of renal cancer cell proliferation induction via hormone activated pathways. Inhibition of hormonal signaling may thus play a putative role in supportive therapies against this cancer type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2221-2235
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Clear cell cancer
  • Estrogen
  • Renal cancer
  • Vitamin D receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hormone signaling pathways as treatment targets in renal cell cancer (Review)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this