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Association between androgen receptor expression, Ki-67 and the 21-gene recurrence score in non-metastatic, lymph node-negative, estrogen receptor-positive and HER2-negative breast cancer
  1. Francisco E Vera-Badillo1,
  2. Martin C Chang2,3,
  3. Gordana Kuruzar2,
  4. Alberto Ocana4,
  5. Arnoud J Templeton1,
  6. Bostjan Seruga5,
  7. Robyn Goldstein1,
  8. Philippe L Bedard1,
  9. Ian F Tannock1,
  10. Eitan Amir1
  1. 1Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Department of Medicine, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  2. 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada
  3. 3Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  4. 4Medical Oncology Department and Translational Research Unit, Albacete University Hospital, Albacete, Spain
  5. 5Sector of Medical Oncology, Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eitan Amir, Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, 610 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2M9; Eitan.Amir{at}


Background The mechanisms underlying the favourable prognosis of androgen receptor (AR) expression in breast cancer are unknown.

Methods The associations between the 21-gene recurrence score (RS), AR, grade, mitotic score, Ki-67 and estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PgR) expression were explored in sequential women with lymph node-negative, ER-positive and HER2-negative breast cancer. Statistical significance of this exploratory study was defined as p<0.10.

Results Analysis comprised 70 women. Most tumours had high AR expression (97% had scores >3). Median RS was 15 (range 1–53). AR expression showed a minimally significant positive correlation with ER (R=0.37), but no correlation with Ki-67 (R=−0.18). In univariable analysis, AR (p=0.01), ER (p<0.001) and PgR (p<0.001) had significant negative associations with RS. Ki-67 (p=0.16), grade (p=0.40) and mitotic score (p=0.23) showed no association with RS. Multivariable analysis showed similar associations.

Conclusions AR is associated with lower RS, but not with Ki-67.


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