Aromatization is the biochemical process in which aromatase catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into estradiol, the fundamental pathway for the synthesis of estrogens. When enhanced, it can lead to hyperestrogenism, a well-known risk factor for gynecological cancers.Methods
The surgical specimens, coming from 2 postmenopausal women with hyperestrogenism on pap smear and bioptic diagnosis of endometrial endometrioid carcinoma, were fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin, paraffin embedded, and then submitted for routine hematoxylin/eosin staining and immunohistochemical characterization for antiestrogen, antiprogesterone, antitesterone, anti-MLH1, anti-PMS2, anti-MSH2, and anti-MSH6.Results
The presence of an undescribed triad represented by ovarian functioning Brenner tumor, endometrial carcinoma, and pelvic endometriosis has been ascertained. The immunohistochemical investigation proved a normal expression of the DNA mismatch repair proteins and revealed a bimodal hormonal status in the pathological tissues, that is, the Brenner tumor cells showed a high expression of testosterone, contrariwise endometrioid carcinoma and endometriosis a high estrogen and progesterone immunolabeling.Conclusions
This synchronous triad underlines the importance of aromatization and hyperestrogenism in the development of gynecological malignancies in which the immunohistochemical detection of an active source of hormone production — to always keep in consideration during synchronous diseases — can guide subsequent antihormone chemotherapy based on aromatase inhibitors.