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Androgen Receptor Expression Impacts Breast Cancer Outcomes

Posted Feb 15 2010 6:43am
Personalized medicine continues to make greast stridesleading to breast cancer therapies that are specifically targeted to the characteristics of an individual's breast cancer.  Breast cancer research designed to examine breast cancer tissue characteristics is an important part of personalizing breast cancer treatments.

New breast cancer research indicates that the expression of androgen receptors in some breast cancer patients can impact breast cancer outcomes.  In this new studybreast cancer researchers explored the relationship between androgen receptor expression and breast cancer outcomes in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer patients with or without chemotherapy.  Analysis of the data from about 900 breast cancer patients showed
  • Androgen receptor expression was associated with a longer time to relapse and improved disease specific survival.
  • This relationship between androgen receptor expression and improved outcomes was greater in breast cancer patients receiving a combination of hormone therapy and chemotherapy.
  • This relationship was also evident in the generally more aggressive ER+ luminal B breast cancer.
These are very positive results for women with ER+ breast cancer.  By determining the tumor's level of androgen receptor expressionit might be possible to identify breast cancer patients who might benefit from a more aggressive form of breast cancer treatment (those without androgen receptor expression).  Making this deterimination as early as possible could lead to more appropriate treatments being given earlierhopefully resulting in better breast cancer outcomes. 

As the medical community continues to make great strides in areas like improved breast cancer therapywe can focus on reducing our odds of ever getting breast cancer.  To learn more about the things you can do to reduce your own personal risk of breast cancerread my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at
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