Surprising discovery provides insights into aggressive endometrial cancers

IMAGE: This is Jay Gertz with his team in Huntsman Cancer Institute Research Lab with. People from left to right: Maggie Janat-Amsbury, MD,PhD, Jay Gertz, PhD, and Jeffery Vahrenkamp, PhD…. view more 

Credit: Jonathan Martinez, Huntsman Cancer Institute

SALT LAKE CITY – New research from Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) indicates steroid and hormone receptors are simultaneously active in many endometrial cancer tissues. The findings, published today in the journal Cell Reports, yield insights about factors that contribute to more aggressive endometrial tumors.

The study was led by Jay Gertz, PhD, a cancer researcher at HCI and an assistant professor of Oncological Sciences at the U of U. Gertz and his colleagues focused on the endometrium, the interior lining of the uterus, a hollow cavity that is part of a woman’s reproductive system. The researchers were surprised to discover that two receptors – estrogen and glucocorticoid – which have opposing effects on normal growth of the uterine lining, work together to promote more aggressive endometrial cancers. They found that endometrial tumors with high estrogen receptor expression have a poor prognosis if they also have high amounts of glucocorticoid receptor – a stress


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