The immunoperoxidase stain for estrogen and progesterone receptor content in endometrial adenocarcinoma was correlated with the grade and stage, level of myometrial invasion, age and survival of the patients. Anti-estrogen and anti-progesteone receptor monoclonal antibodies were applied to paraffin-embedded tissue from hysterectomy specimens of 100 patients with adenocarcinoma of the endometrium. In 34 of the cases the receptors were studied in the endometrium adjacent to the tumor and compared to the nuclear receptor content in the carcinoma. There was a high inverse correlation between the estrogen receptor status and the grade of tumor (R = − 0.45, P = 0.006). The estrogen receptor measured in the endometrium near the tumor showed a negative correlation with the grade of the tumor (R = −0.42, P = 0.013). The estrogen, but not the progesterone, receptor content, was positively related to the age of the patient (P < 0.05). No significant correlation of the receptor status with the depth of myometrial invasion was found, despite the obvious interdependence between the grade and myometrial invasion. The progesterone receptor staining index appeared to be a distinct independent prognostic factor in endometrial cancer. The immunohistochemical analysis of the steroid hormone status in endometrial cancer therefore offers an alternative to the quantitative ligand-binding assay.
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