Androgen receptor expression in male breast cancer predicts inferior outcome and poor response to Tamoxifen treatment.

European journal of endocrinology / European Federation of Endocrine Societies

PubMedID: 25069458

Wenhui Z, Shuo L, Dabei T, Ying P, Zhipeng W, Lei Z, Xiaohui H, Jingshu G, Hongtao S, Qingyuan Z. Androgen receptor expression in male breast cancer predicts inferior outcome and poor response to Tamoxifen treatment. Eur J Endocrinol. 2014;.
Abstract Objective: Androgen receptor(AR) plays an important role in male breast cancer (MBC). Additionally, endocrine therapy is the most important treatment in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive advanced breast cancer. The present study was aimed to investigate the role of the AR in male breast cancer treatment and prognosis and to analyse the relationship between AR and the effect of tamoxifen treatment therapy in MBC patients. Methods: AR protein levels and other tumour characteristics (e.g., expression of ER, PR, AR, HER-2 and ki-67) in breast cancer tissue from 102 MBC patients were determined using immunohistochemical analysis. Additionally, the relationship between AR status and clinicopathologic features was analysed using ?2 test. Association with survival was initially analysed using the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test, and Cox regression analysis was used to adjust for other prognostic indicators. Results: High expression of AR was not correlated with T-stage, histological grade, her-2 status and the status of other sex hormone receptors, but was strongly associated with lymph node metastases (p=0.032). AR-positive patients showed significantly shorter 5-year overall survival (OS) rates (P=0.045) and 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates (P=0.026) than AR-negative patients. By contrast, for patients who received tamoxifen therapy, AR-negative patients showed a higher clinical benefit rate than AR-positive patients (P=0.025). Additionally, the median TTP and OS were significantly different (P=0.02 for TTP; P=0.029 for OS). Conclusions: AR expression correlates strongly with both overall survival and disease-free survival in patients with MBC. AR-positive patients can predict poor clinical outcome than AR-negative patients after adjuvant tamoxifen therapy.