Microarray studies identified a subgroup of molecular apocrine tumors (estrogen receptor [ER] negative/androgen receptor [AR] positive) that express luminal genes including FOXA1. FOXA1 may direct AR to sites normally occupied by ER in luminal tumors, inducing an estrogen-like gene program that stimulated proliferation.
MATERIALS & METHODS:
Expression of AR and FOXA1 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 592 patients with nonmetastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
Coexpression of AR and FOXA1 was found in 15.2% of patients. These tumors were more frequently lobular, found in older patients and exhibited a lower nuclear grade and a greater degree of node involvement. They less often exhibited lymphocytic infiltrate, pushing margins, syncytial architecture, central fibrosis or necrosis.
TNBC with coexpression of AR and FOXA1 seems to behave like luminal tumors with a morphological profile distinct from other TNBC. These biomarkers could be useful to identify a subgroup of TNBC and could have future therapeutic implications.
FOXA1; androgen receptor; molecular apocrine tumors; triple-negative breast cancer