Prognostic role of androgen receptor in triple negative breast cancer: A multi-institutional study

Academic Article


  • Background: The androgen receptor (AR) has emerged as a potential therapeutic target for AR-positive triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). However, conflicting reports regarding AR’s prognostic role in TNBC are putting its usefulness in question. Some studies conclude that AR positivity indicates a good prognosis in TNBC, whereas others suggest the opposite, and some show that AR status has no significant bearing on the patients’ prognosis. Methods: We evaluated the prognostic value of AR in resected primary tumors from TNBC patients from six international cohorts {US (n = 420), UK (n = 239), Norway (n = 104), Ireland (n = 222), Nigeria (n = 180), and India (n = 242); total n = 1407}. All TNBC samples were stained with the same anti-AR antibody using the same immunohistochemistry protocol, and samples with ≥1% of AR-positive nuclei were deemed AR-positive TNBCs. Results: AR status shows population-specific patterns of association with patients’ overall survival after controlling for age, grade, population, and chemotherapy. We found AR-positive status to be a marker of good prognosis in US and Nigerian cohorts, a marker of poor prognosis in Norway, Ireland and Indian cohorts, and neutral in UK cohort. Conclusion: AR status, on its own, is not a reliable prognostic marker. More research to investigate molecular subtype composition among the different cohorts is warranted.
  • Published In

  • Cancers  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 23857538
  • Author List

  • Bhattarai S; Klimov S; Mittal K; Krishnamurti U; Li XB; Oprea-Ilies G; Wetherilt CS; Riaz A; Aleskandarany MA; Green AR
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 7