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Br J Cancer. 1999 Feb;79(5-6):959-64.

Androgen receptor expression in male breast carcinoma: lack of clinicopathological association.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Turin, Italy.


Androgen receptor (AR) expression was retrospectively analysed in 47 primary male breast carcinomas (MBCs) using a monoclonal antibody on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. AR immunopositivity was detected in 16 out of 47 (34%) cases. No association was found with patient age, tumour stage, progesterone receptor (PGR) or p53 protein expression. Well-differentiated MBCs tended to be AR positive more often than poorly differentiated ones (P = 0.08). A negative association was found between ARs and cell proliferative activity: MIB-1 scores were higher (25.4%) in AR-negative than in AR-positive cases (21.11%; P = 0.04). A strong positive association (P = 0.0001) was found between ARs and oestrogen receptors (ERs). In univariate analysis, ARs (as well as ERs and PGRs) were not correlated with overall survival; tumour histological grade (P = 0.02), size (P = 0.01), p53 expression (P = 0.0008) and MIB-1 scores (P = 0.0003) had strong prognostic value. In multivariate survival analysis, only p53 expression (P = 0.002) and histological grade (P = 0.02) retained independent prognostic significance. In conclusion, the lack of association between AR and most clinicopathological features and survival, together with the absence of prognostic value for ER/PGR status, suggest that MBCs are biologically different from female breast carcinomas and make it questionable to use antihormonal therapy for patients with MBC.

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