The clinical management of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is challenging due to the relatively aggressive biological behaviour and paucity of specific targeted therapy. A subset of TNBC patients has been reported to express androgen receptor (AR) in carcinoma cells and the manipulation of androgen signalling or AR targeted therapies have been proposed. However, the biological significance of AR in TNBC has remained relatively unknown. Therefore, this review aims to summarise the reported studies assessing the rates of AR positivity in TNBC patients and androgenic effects in TNBC cell lines. The rates of AR positivity among TNBC cases varied depending on the study population (0-53% of all TNBC patients). This difference among the reported studies may be largely due to the methodological differences of analysing AR. While the majority of cell line studies suggest that androgen increase proliferation and preliminary clinical studies suggest that AR antagonists improve the prognosis of AR positive TNBC patients, cell line transfection experiments and survival analyses of histological samples suggest that the presence of AR in tumour is either benign or predicts better survival. Therefore further translational investigations regarding the mechanisms of androgen action in TNBC are required to explain this discrepancy between clinical and basic studies.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2013 Jan|
- Androgen receptor
- Steroid metabolism