Estrogen and thyroid cancer

Dong Yeob Shin, Eun Jig Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The relationship between estrogen and thyroid carcinoma has been under investigation since estrogen receptors were identified in normal and neoplastic thyroid cells. Thyroid carcinoma has an almost three times higher incidence in women than in men; however, this ratio applies only during the reproductive age of females. Based on this epidemiologic characteristic of thyroid cancer, it is thought that the female sex hormone, estrogen, could influence the development and proliferation of thyroid carcinoma. After the discovery of a second isoform of estrogen binding protein called ERβ, various experimental data have demonstrated that estrogen can regulate the growth of thyroid cancer cells. Studies of the underlying molecular pathways and sub-cellular localizations of both ERs (ERα and ERβ) in thyroid carcinoma suggest that the estrogenic effect on thyroid cancer cells is dependent on the balance between ERα and ERβ. These two estrogen receptors are thought to have proliferative and inhibitory effects, respectively, on thyroid cancer cell growth. The expression of both ERs varies with different types of thyroid cancer and the effects of the ERs on thyroid carcinoma could be mediated by genomic and/or non-genomic estrogenic signaling pathways. Further investigation is needed to identify the underlying mechanisms for the estrogen-mediated development of thyroid carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFemale Sex Hormones and Cancers
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781617286964
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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