The Role of Estrogen Receptors in Urothelial Cancer


Epidemiological data have indicated that there are some sex-related differences in bladder cancer. Indeed, the incidence of bladder cancer in men has been substantially higher than that in women throughout the world, while women tend to have higher stage disease and poorer prognosis. These gender disparities have prompted to investigate sex hormones and their cognitive receptors in bladder cancer. Specifically, estrogen receptors, including estrogen receptor-α and estrogen receptor-β, have been shown to contribute to urothelial carcinogenesis and cancer progression, as well as to modulating chemosensitivity in bladder cancer, although conflicting findings exist. Meanwhile, immunohistochemical studies in surgical specimens have assessed the expression of estrogen receptors and related proteins as well as its associations with clinicopathologic features of bladder cancer and patient outcomes. This review article summarizes and discusses available data indicating that estrogen receptor signaling plays an important role in urothelial cancer. rothelial carcinoma, also known as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), is by far the most common type of bladder cancer. In fact, if you have bladder cancer it's almost certain to be a urothelial carcinoma. These cancers start in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder.

Urothelial cells also line other parts of the urinary tract, such as the part of the kidney that connects to the ureter (called the renal pelvis), the ureters, and the urethra. People with bladder cancer sometimes have tumors in these places, too, so all of the urinary tract needs to be checked for tumors. The wall of the bladder has many several layers. Each layer is made up of different kinds of cells (see Bladder Cancer Stages for details on the different layers). Most bladder cancers start in the innermost lining of the bladder, which is called the urothelium or transitional epithelium. As the cancer grows into or through the other layers in the bladder wall, it has a higher stage, becomes more advanced, and can be harder to treat. Over time, the cancer might grow outside the bladder and into nearby structures. It might spread to nearby lymph nodes, or to other parts of the body. (When bladder cancer spreads, it tends to go to distant lymph nodes, the bones, the lungs, or the liver.)

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John Robert

Managing Editor
European Journal of Clinical Oncology
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