Purpose: Previously have been reported that breast cancers (BC) with high expression of AR relative to estrogen receptor (AR/ER ?2) are associated with worse prognosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the AR/ER ratio and a gene proliferation signature in ER - positive (ER+) tumors.
Methods: 1093 BC samples with gene expression data were obtained from NCI Genomic Data Commons. Bioinformatic analysis were performed to establish gene expression levels of AR, ER and also levels of cellular proliferation markers AURKb, BUB1B, BUB1, CDK1 and CHEK1. Furthermore, molecular subtypes were defined based on the PAM50 bioclassifier.
Results: 835 cases were reported as ER+ and, from them, 58 tumors (7%) showed higher level of AR respect to ER (AR/ ER ?2). These last cases had significantly higher levels of cellular proliferation markers, compared with AR/ER <2 ratio cases (p = 0.02) and were mainly classified as luminal B and HER2- enriched molecular subtypes (76.5%).
Conclusions: our results confirm previous reports and suggest that BC cases with ratio AR/ER ?2 are associated with tumors having more aggressive biological behavior. Moreover, it reinforces the insight of use of AR-inhibitors for treatment of ER+ BC patients which have higher AR expression levels.
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