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J Mol Endocrinol. 2014 Jun;52(3):R257-65. doi: 10.1530/JME-14-0030. Epub 2014 Apr 16.

Revising the role of the androgen receptor in breast cancer.

Author information

1
Androgen Signalling LaboratoryDepartment of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UKMolecular OncologySchool of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ, UK.
2
Androgen Signalling LaboratoryDepartment of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UKMolecular OncologySchool of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ, UKAndrogen Signalling LaboratoryDepartment of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UKMolecular OncologySchool of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ, UK gbrooke@essex.ac.uk.

Abstract

Breast cancer (BC) is traditionally viewed as an oestrogen-dependent disease in which the androgen receptor (AR) is inhibitory, counteracting the oncogenic activity of oestrogen receptor α (ERα (ESR1)). Most probably as a result of this crosstalk, the AR has prognostic value in ER-positive disease, with AR positivity reported to correlate with a better prognosis. Activation of the AR pathway has been previously used as a therapeutic strategy to treat BC, but its usage declined following the introduction of the anti-oestrogen tamoxifen. More recently, it has been demonstrated that a subset of triple-negative BCs (molecular apocrine) are dependent upon androgen signalling for growth and therapies that inhibit androgen signalling, currently used for the treatment of prostate cancer, e.g. the antiandrogen bicalutamide and the CYP17 inhibitor abiraterone acetate are undergoing clinical trials to investigate their efficacy in this BC subtype. This review summarises the current knowledge of AR activity in BC.

KEYWORDS:

androgen receptors; breast cancer; oestrogen receptor; steroid

PMID:
24740738
DOI:
10.1530/JME-14-0030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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