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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Insulin-like growth factors in endometrioid adenocarcinoma: Correlation with clinico-pathological features and estrogen receptor expression

Yuan-Jiao Liang1*, Qun Hao1, Hui-Ming Zhang1, Yuan-Zhe Wu1 and Jian-Dong Wang2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210002, China

2 Department of Pathology, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

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BMC Cancer 2012, 12:262  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-262

Published: 21 June 2012



Endometrial carcinoma is a common malignancy of female genital tract. Insulin-like growth factor is known to elicit estrogen-induced mitogenic activity and anti-apoptotic effect in endometrial tissues.


The retrospective study investigated the expression of insulin-like growth factors, estrogen receptors and their associations in endometrioid adenocarcinoma (EAC) from 80 EAC patients in immunohistochemistry, and 58 EAC patients and 42 control patients in quantitative RT-PCR. The Pearson correlation analysis was used to analyze their correlations with clinic-pathological parameters.


Our results showed that insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin-like growth factor-2 mRNA levels were higher in tumor tissues and tumor-adjacent tissues than those in control cells, and were inversely correlated with the malignancy of the tumor with a positive correlation with ERα and ERβ expression. Insulin-like growth factor-1R protein expression was correlated with clinical stage, and insulin-like growth factor-2R protein expression was inversely correlated with histological grade.


Insulin-like growth factor system plays an important role in estrogen-induced endometrial carcinogenesis, and overexpression of insulin-like growth factor-1R in the advanced endometrioid adenocarcinoma is not estrogen-dependent.

Endometrioid adenocarcinoma; Insulin-like growth factor; Estrogen receptor