Blood steroids are associated with prognosis and fat distribution in endometrial cancer

Ingvild L. Tangen, Kristine E. Fasmer, Gonda F. Konings, Arthur Jochems, Bert Delvoux, Sofia Xanthoulea, Tomasz Stokowy, Elin Strand, Hege F. Berg, Seppo Auriola, Jone Trovik, Merja R. Hakkinen, Ingfrid S. Haldorsen, Camilla Krakstad*, Andrea Romano, ENITEC

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background. Despite being a hormone dependent cancer, there is limited knowledge regarding the relation between level of steroids in blood and prognosis for endometrial cancer (EC) patients.

Methods. In this study we investigated plasma levels of 19 steroids using liquid-chromatography tandem mass-spectrometry in 38 postmenopausal EC patients, 19 with long, and 19 with short survival. We explored if estradiol levels were associated with specific abdominal fat distribution patterns and if transcriptional alterations related to estradiol levels could be observed in tumor samples.

Results. The plasma steroid levels for DHEA, DHEAS, progesterone, 21 OH progesterone and EIS were significantly increased (all p <0.05) in patients with long survival compared to short. Estradiol levels were significantly positively correlated with visceral fat percentage (p = 0.035), and an increased expression of genes involved in estrogen related signaling was observed in tumors from patients with high estradiol levels in plasma.

Conclusion. Several of the identified plasma steroids represent promising biomarkers in EC patients. The association between increased estradiol levels and a high percentage of visceral fat indicates that visceral fat is a larger contributor to estradiol production compared to subcutaneous fat in this population. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Steroid profile
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Survival
  • Fat distribution
  • Gene expression
  • LC-MS/MS
  • RISK


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