Targeting the Androgen Receptor in Breast Cancer Academic Article uri icon


  • The androgen receptor (AR) is expressed in the majority of breast cancer and across the three main breast cancer subtypes. Historically, the oncogenic role of AR has best been described in molecular apocrine breast cancers, an estrogen receptor (ER)-/AR+ subtype which has a steroid response signature similar to that in the ER-positive breast cancer. The signalling effect of AR is likely to be different across breast cancer subtypes, and particularly important is its interaction with ER signalling. Despite the high frequency of AR expression in breast cancer, it is still not a standard clinical practice to use AR antagonists as therapy. Older trials of AR-directed therapies in breast cancer have had generally been disappointing. More recently, more potent, next-generation, AR-directed therapies have been developed in the context of prostate cancer. Here, we will review the emerging literature dissecting the role of AR signalling in a context-dependent manner in breast cancer and the renewed interest and wave of clinical trials targeting the AR in breast cancer.

publication date

  • 2015