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Reproductive & Hormonal Factors and Ovarian Ca

Gynecol Oncol; ePub 2016 Oct 5; Shafrir, et al

There is an increased risk among postmenopausal women of developing progesterone receptor negative (PR[-]) ovarian tumors compared to premenopausal women, a recent study found, and ovarian tumor development through hormonal pathways may differ from breast cancer. The study assessed the association between reproductive and hormonal factors and ovarian cancer incidence characterized by estrogen receptor-α (ERα) and progesterone receptor (PR) status among 197 Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), 42 NHSII and 76 New England Case-Control Study ovarian cancer cases. Researchers found:

  • 45% of ovarian tumors were PR(+), 78% were ERα(+), and 45% were ERα(+)/PR(+), while 22% were ERα(-)/PR(-).]
  • Postmenopausal status was associated with an increased risk of PR(-) tumors (OR, 2.07).
  • Age at natural menopause was inversely associated with PR(-) tumors (OR, per 5 years, 0.77).
  • Increasing duration of postmenopause was differentially associated by PR status.
  • Women with a tubal ligation tended to develop ERα(-) ovarian tumors.


Shafrir AL, Rice MS, Gupta M, et al. The association between reproductive and hormonal factors and ovarian cancer by estrogen-α and progesterone receptor status. [Published online ahead of print October 5, 2106]. Gynecol Oncol. doi:10.1016/j.ygyno.2016.09.024.