The role of the androgen receptor in triple-negative breast cancer

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Greater than 70% of human breast cancers express the androgen receptor (AR). Emerging preclinical and clinical data suggest that AR may play a role in breast cancer pathogenesis and may serve as a therapeutic target in certain more difficult-to-treat breast cancer subtypes, such as triple-negative breast cancer. Although this is an area of active investigation, the clinical significance of this hormone receptor as a prognostic/predictive marker and its functional role in tumorigenesis is unclear. This review provides an update on the advances made in the last several years regarding the role of AR as a prognostic/predictive biomarker in breast cancer, the underlying biology of AR signaling in breast cancer development and the available clinical data for the use of androgen inhibition in the treatment of AR+ triple-negative breast cancer.

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