The estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) is highly expressed in both endometrial and breast cancers, and represents the most prevalent therapeutic target in breast cancer. However, anti-estrogen therapy has not been shown to be effective in endometrial cancer. Recently it has been shown that hormone-binding domain alterations of ERα in breast cancer contribute to acquired resistance to anti-estrogen therapy. In analyses of genomic data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we observe that endometrial carcinomas manifest recurrent ESR1 gene amplifications that truncate the hormone-binding domain encoding region of ESR1 and are associated with reduced mRNA expression of exons encoding the hormone-binding domain. These findings support a role for hormone-binding alterations of ERα in primary endometrial cancer, with potentially important therapeutic implications.
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