Clinical trials have attempted to demonstrate a correlation between the expression of androgen receptor (RA) and the prognosis of breast cancer. We have analyzed a sample of women with diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer (TN) in order to establish their prognostic value.
We retrospectively analyzed a cohort of women diagnosed of early stage TN breast cancer in the Universitary Hospital of León from 2008 to 2013. Our first end point was to establish a correlation between RA expression, clinical parameters, immunohistochemical characteristics and PFS and OS.
A total of 58 women with TN breast cáncer were included. From the total number of biopsies, 20% expressed RA, and the 80% of this subgroup had an apocrine histology. The RA expression was associated to a favourable grade (G) :( RA + G3: 45.5% vs. RA - G3 79%, p = 0.05); smaller size (11.1% T1, 77% T2 .11.1% T3-T4), and lower percentage of Ki-67: (mean in RA + 23.6% ± 5 vs 41.4% ± 3, p = 0.005). There was also a trend towards association with premenopausal status (60% vs 40% postmenopausal p = 0.02) and axillary involvement at the time of diagnosis (65% N1-2 vs. 35% N0 p = 0.045). Regarding OS and PFS, we did not find statistical significant differences between RA positive and negative tumors (p = 0.89 and p = 0.34 respectively).
The RA expression in TN breast cancer is associated with more favourable histopathological characteristics except the axillary involvement. Although most of our cases were N+, we did not find a worse prognosis in these patients. It is possible that with the antiandrogenic therapy a better survival could be obtained, which would justify the design of clinical trials.
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