A Survey of the Relationship between Serum Testosterone Level and Expressions of Androgen, Progesterone and Estrogen Receptors and HER2 in Iranian Women with Breast Cancer
Background: Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer in women. This tumor is hormone dependent tumor and oncologists use estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2 for treatment of this malignancy. Androgens like testosterone and their receptors (AR) have a role in the pathophysiology of breast cancer but their clinical values are not clear.
Method: AR expression was evaluated in 49 patients with breast cancers using immunohistochemistry. Testosterone was evaluated with ELISA. The relation of clinical characteristics and biomarkers with AR and testosterone were analyzed. According to the percentage of stained cells AR categorized to: AR-absent (0%), AR-poorly (1%-10%), AR-moderately (>10%-50%), and AR-highly (>50%) positive.
Results: Among 49 patients with breast cancer, 34% were AR-positive and 44% of ERpositive and 22% of ER negative patients were AR-positive. There was no significant association between mean of testosterone and AR, ER, PR and HER2. AR was positive more frequently but not significantly statistically in older patients and patients less than 45 years of age. Testosterone level was higher in ER positive patients than ER negative and lower in AR positive patients than AR negative patients, but these findings were not statistically significant. ten persent of breast cancers were triple negative and AR was negative in all of them.
Conclusion: Androgens and AR have role in pathophysiology of breast cancer and in the future one can use the potency of this pathway for the treatment of breast cancer.
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