gms | German Medical Science

MAINZ//2011: 56. GMDS-Jahrestagung und 6. DGEpi-Jahrestagung

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e. V.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Epidemiologie e. V.

26. - 29.09.2011 in Mainz

Estrogen receptor beta expression in colorectal cancer cases from a population-based case-control study (DACHS)

Meeting Abstract

  • Anja Rudolph - German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg
  • Csaba Toth - Institute of Pathology, Heidelberg
  • Rebecca Hein - German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg
  • Michael Hoffmeister - German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg
  • Esther Herpel - Institute of Pathology, National Center for Tumor Diseases, Heidelberg
  • Hendrik Bläker - Institute of Pathology, Heidelberg
  • Hermann Brenner - German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg
  • Jenny Chang-Claude - German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg

Mainz//2011. 56. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie (gmds), 6. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Epidemiologie (DGEpi). Mainz, 26.-29.09.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11gmds197

doi: 10.3205/11gmds197, urn:nbn:de:0183-11gmds1977

Published: September 20, 2011

© 2011 Rudolph et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) is expressed in the large intestine and seems to modulate colonic cell proliferation and apoptosis in a beneficial way regarding colon carcinogenesis [1]. We therefore investigated, whether the expression of ERβ in tumour tissue from colorectal cancer (CRC) patients is associated with tumour or clinical characteristics, established CRC risk factors or reproductive history of female cases.

Methods: ERβ expression was measured by immunohistochemistry on tissue micro arrays consisting of paired normal and tumorous tissue samples from 1262 CRC cases of a German population-based case-control study (DACHS). Information on CRC risk factors was collected during in-person interviews with a standardized questionnaire. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the association of the investigated characteristics with ERβ expression. Models were derived using backward selection (p≤0.2). Estimates were adjusted for age (in 5 year increments), tumour localization and tumor extent, except estimates for UICC stages which were adjusted solely for age.

Results: ERß was strongly expressed (>50% nuclei positive) in normal intestinal tissue samples, whereby strong ERβ expression was found in 18%, moderate expression (10%-50% nuclei positive) in 34% and no expression (<10% nuclei positive) in 48% of tumour samples. Age was associated with tumors showing no ERß expression (OR per 5 year increment = 1.09, 95%CI 1.00-1.18, p value = 0.051). Compared to tumours with strong ERβ expression, tumours lacking ERβ expression were associated with significantly higher UICC stages (stage II OR = 2.32, 95% CI 1.48-3.63; stage III OR = 2.65, 95% CI 1.68-4.20; stage IV OR = 1.88, 95% CI 1.09-3.24; p trend = 0.005) and greater tumour extent (T2 OR = 1.75, 95% CI 0.58-3.57; T3 OR = 3.90, 95% CI 2.01-7.56; T4 OR = 3.52, 95% CI 1.57-7.90; p trend <0.001). Tumours with moderate ERβ expression showed similar but weaker associations. No significant associations were observed with gender, histopathological grading, nodal status, distant metastasis, tumour localization, neoadjuvant treatment or microsatellite instability. None of the investigated risk factors and variables regarding the reproductive history were significantly associated with ERβ expression.

Conclusion: Results of this large population-based study confirmed former findings of a selective loss of ERß expression in CRC tumors [1]. In addition, loss of ERß expression was significantly more prevalent in tumors of advanced stages and greater extent, as well as for older age at diagnosis of CRC.


Kennelly R, et al. Oestrogen and the colon: potential mechanisms for cancer prevention. Lancet Oncol. 2008;9(4):385-91.