Abstract: Background: Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are characterized by aggressive tumour biology resulting in a poor prognosis. Androgen receptor (AR) is one of newly emerging biomarker in TNBC. In recent years, ARs have been demonstrated to play an important role in the genesis and in the development of breast cancer, although their prognostic role is still debated. In the present study, we explored the correlation of AR expression with clinical, pathological and molecular features and its impact on prognosis in early TNBC. Patients and Methods: ARs were considered positive in case of tumors with >10% nuclear-stained. Survival distribution was estimated by the Kaplan Meier method. The univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. The difference among variables were calculated by chi-square test. Results: 81 TNBC patients diagnosed between January 2006 and December 2011 were included in the analysis. Slides were stained immunohistochemically for estrogen and progesterone receptors, HER-2, Ki-67, ALDH1, e-cadherin and AR. Of the 81 TNBC samples, 18.8% showed positive immunostaining for AR, 23.5% and 44.4% of patients were negative for e-cadherin and ALDH1, respectively. Positive AR immunostaining was inversely correlated with a higher Ki-67 (p < 0.0001) and a lympho-vascular invasion (p = 0.01), but no other variables. Univariate survival analysis revealed that AR expression was not associated with disease-free survival (p = 0.72) or overall survival (p = 0.93). Conclusions: The expression of AR is associated with some biological features of TNBC, such as Ki-67 and lympho-vascular invasion; nevertheless the prognostic significance of AR was not documented in our analysis. However, since ARs are expressed in a significant number of TNBC, prospective studies in order to determine the biological mechanisms and their potential role as novel treatment target.
Keywords: androgen receptor; triple negative; breast cancer; prognosis
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Pistelli, M.; Caramanti, M.; Biscotti, T.; Santinelli, A.; Pagliacci, A.; De Lisa, M.; Ballatore, Z.; Ridolfi, F.; Maccaroni, E.; Bracci, R.; Berardi, R.; Battelli, N.; Cascinu, S. Androgen Receptor Expression in Early Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Clinical Significance and Prognostic Associations. Cancers 2014, 6, 1351-1362.
Pistelli M, Caramanti M, Biscotti T, Santinelli A, Pagliacci A, De Lisa M, Ballatore Z, Ridolfi F, Maccaroni E, Bracci R, Berardi R, Battelli N, Cascinu S. Androgen Receptor Expression in Early Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Clinical Significance and Prognostic Associations. Cancers. 2014; 6(3):1351-1362.
Pistelli, Mirco; Caramanti, Miriam; Biscotti, Tommasina; Santinelli, Alfredo; Pagliacci, Alessandra; De Lisa, Mariagrazia; Ballatore, Zelmira; Ridolfi, Francesca; Maccaroni, Elena; Bracci, Raffaella; Berardi, Rossana; Battelli, Nicola; Cascinu, Stefano. 2014. "Androgen Receptor Expression in Early Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Clinical Significance and Prognostic Associations." Cancers 6, no. 3: 1351-1362.