Expression and clinical significance of androgen receptor in triple negative breast cancer

Chin J Cancer. 2010 Jun;29(6):585-90. doi: 10.5732/cjc.009.10673.


Background and objective: Androgen receptor (AR) is involved in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, but its role is not clearly defined. This study was to explore the expression of AR and its relationship with clinicopathologic parameters in triple negative breast cancer (negative estrogen receptor, negative progesterone receptor, and negative Her-2).

Methods: Immunohistochemical assays were performed to determine the expression of AR in 137 cases of triple negative breast cancer and 132 cases of non-triple negative breast cancer. The relationships between AR expression and clinicopathologic data and prognosis were analyzed.

Results: The positive rate of AR was significantly lower in triple negative breast cancer than in non-triple negative breast (27.7% vs. 83.3%, Chi2=83.963, P<0.001). AR expression was correlated with menorrheal status (Chi2=6.803, P=0.009), tumor grade (Chi2=5.173, P=0.023), node status (Chi2=7.787, P=0.005), 5-year disease-free survival (Chi2=5.012, P=0.025) and 5-year overall survival (Chi2=5.552, P=0.018) in triple negative breast cancer, but was not correlated with clinicopathologic parameters and survival in non-triple negative breast cancer. The 5-year overall survival rate was 78.8% in triple negative breast cancer and 83.3% in non-triple negative breast cancer.

Conclusions: The expression of AR is related to biological behaviors of triple negative breast cancer, and plays a role in endocrinotherapy and prognostic prediction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism
  • Survival Rate


  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Receptor, ErbB-2