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Expression of Androgen, Estrogen, and Progesterone Receptors in Salivary Gland Tumors
Frequent Expression of Androgen Receptor in a Subset of Malignant Salivary Gland Tumors

Selim M. Nasser MD, William C. Faquin MD, PhD, Yogeshwar Dayal MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/RVTP1G0Q727WJUQD 801-806 First published online: 1 June 2003


The expression of sex hormone receptors in some tumors suggests a role for these receptors in tumor pathogenesis and therapy. Previous studies of the expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors in salivary gland tumors have reported conflicting results. We evaluated the immunohistochemical expression of androgen, estrogen, and progesterone receptors (AR, ER, and PR) in a series of 78 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded salivary gland tumors. Immunoreactivity for AR was seen in 14 of 14 carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenomas, 6 of 6 salivary duct carcinomas, and 2 of 2 basal cell adenocarcinomas but in only 2 of 10 acinic cell carcinomas, mucoepidermoid carcinomas, and adenoid cystic carcinomas each. AR expression was distributed evenly between the sexes. ER and PR were expressed in only a few cases of salivary gland tumors. All 26 benign salivary gland tumors were negative for AR, ER, and PR. The uniform expression of AR exclusively in a subset of malignant salivary gland tumors suggests a possible role for AR in the histogenesis and possibly in the clinical management of these malignant salivary gland tumors.

Key Words:
  • Salivary gland
  • Androgen
  • Progesterone
  • Estrogen
  • Receptors
  • Hormones