Expression of Androgen Receptor in Estrogen Receptor–positive Breast Cancer

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The aim of the study was to estimate the implications of androgen receptor (AR) expression in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive subset of invasive breast carcinoma patients.

Patients and Methods:

We assessed the AR expression in a subset of 96 predominantly ER-positive invasive breast carcinomas and correlated this expression pattern with several clinical and pathologic parameters: histologic type and grade, tumor size, lymph node status, progesterone receptor (PgR) status, and human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) overexpression and evaluated the association of these parameters with 10-year survival using univariate and multivariate analyses. Data used for analysis were derived from medical records. Immunohistochemical analysis for AR, ER, PgR, and HER2 were carried out and semiquantitative evaluation of stainings was performed.


AR expression was demonstrated in 43.7% of patients. AR was significantly related to well-differentiated tumors and positive PgR/HER2 status. No statistical difference was demonstrated in AR expression in relation to tumor size, lymph node status, menopausal status, and tumor histologic type. AR expression was not an independent prognostic factor related to 10-year survival in ER-positive cancers. In multivariate analyses, older age at diagnosis, larger tumor size, and positive lymph node status were significantly associated with poorer 10-year survival.


AR expression is significantly associated with ER/PgR/HER2 status and positively related to well-differentiated tumors. Although AR status in ER-positive cancers is not an independent prognostic factor, it might provide important additional information on prognosis and become a promising object for targeted therapy.

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