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Deuster, Eileen; Mayr, Doris; Hester, Anna; Kolben, Thomas; Zeder-Goess, Christine; Burges, Alexander; Mahner, Sven; Jeschke, Udo; Trillsch, Fabian and Czogalla, Bastian (2019): Correlation of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor with FSHR in Ovarian Cancer Patients. In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 20, No. 12, 2862

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Expression of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) has been described in various tumor entities from different organs. However, its role in ovarian cancer has not been thoroughly investigated. We aimed to elucidate the prognostic impact of AhR, its correlation with the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), and their functional role in ovarian cancer. By immunohistochemistry, AhR staining was analyzed in a subset of 156 samples of ovarian cancer patients. AhR staining was assessed in the nucleus and the cytoplasm using the semi-quantitative immunoreactive score (IRS), and the scores were grouped into high- and low-level expression. AhR expression was detected in all histological subtypes, with clear cell ovarian cancer displaying the highest staining intensity. Low cytoplasmic expression of AhR was associated with longer overall survival (median 183.46 vs. 85.07 months;p = 0.021). We found a positive correlation between AhR and FSHR (p = 0.005). Ovarian cancer patients with high cytoplasmic AhR and concurrent FSHR expression had the worst outcome (median 69.72 vs. 43.32 months;p = 0.043). Consequently, low cytoplasmic AhR expression seems to be associated with improved survival in ovarian cancer patients. Our data suggest that AhR and FSHR levels correlate with each other, and their concurrent expression was observed in ovarian cancer patients with the worst outcome. Further investigation of the interaction of both receptors and their functional role might better predict the impact of endocrine therapy in ovarian cancer.

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