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1.  Expression of the Androgen Receptor and its Correlation with Molecular Subtypes in 980 Chinese Breast Cancer Patients 
Background
Recent studies have shown that androgen displays an inhibitory effect on breast cancer cell lines that express androgen receptor (AR) but not estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR). We have previously reported that approximately 1/3 of ER negative high grade invasive ductal carcinomas express AR. Thus, AR can serve as a potential therapeutic target for this group of patients.
Aim
Here we investigated AR expression patterns in 980 consecutive breast carcinomas.
Results
We found that (1) AR was expressed more frequently (77%) than ER (61%) and PR (60%) in breast carcinomas; (2) AR expression was associated with ER and PR expression (P < 0.0001), small tumor size (P = 0.0324) and lower Ki-67 expression (P = 0.0013); (3) AR expression was found in 65% of ER negative tumors; (4) AR expression was associated with PR and Ki-67 in ER negative tumors, but not in ER positive tumors; (5) AR expression was higher in ER positive subtypes (Luminal A, Luminal B and Luminal HER2 subtypes, 80%–86%) and lower in ER negative subtypes [HER2, triple negative (TN), and TN EFGR positive subtypes; 52%–66%], with over 50% of TN tumors expressing AR.
Conclusion
More breast carcinomas express AR than ER and PR, including significant numbers of ER negative and TN tumors, for which AR could serve as a potential therapeutic target.
doi:10.4137/BCBCR.S8323
PMCID: PMC3256731  PMID: 22259247
androgen receptor; breast cancer; estrogen receptor; HER2; Ki-67; molecular classification; progesterone receptor
2.  Invasive Lobular Carcinomas Do Not Express Basal Cytokeratin Markers CK5/6, CK14 and CK17 
The expression of basal cytokeratin markers CK5/6 in breast carcinomas has been associated with high histological grade and poor clinical outcome. A previous study has shown that CK5/6 can be detected in up to 17% of invasive lobular carcinomas (ILC). Here we study the expression of three basal cytokeratin markers (CK5/6, CK14, and CK17) in 53 ILC cases diagnosed by histology and lack of E-cadherin expression. Among them, 42 were classic lobular carcinomas, 6 were tubular-lobular carcinoma, and 5 were pleomorphic lobular carcinomas. There was no significant difference among these three groups in patients’ age, tumor size, uni- and multi-focality, expression of ER and PR, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion and lymph node metastasis. The only statistically different factor was HER2 over-expression, which was observed only in pleomorphic ILC (P = 0.0073). None of the 53 cases expressed CK5/6, CK14 or CK17; and 51/53 cases expressed luminal markers CK8 and CK18, and the two negative cases were both classic lobular carcinoma, with positivity for ER and PR. In conclusion, all 53 cases of ILC failed to show expression by any of the three basal CK markers, suggesting that very few ILC will demonstrate a basal phenotype when assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC). More studies are needed to investigate molecular classification in lobular carcinoma of the breast.
doi:10.4137/BCBCR.S5037
PMCID: PMC2999514  PMID: 21151863
lobular carcinoma of the breast; CK5; CK14 and CK17
3.  The Expression Patterns of ER, PR, HER2, CK5/6, EGFR, Ki-67 and AR by Immunohistochemical Analysis in Breast Cancer Cell Lines 
The molecular classification for breast carcinomas has been used in clinical studies with a simple surrogate panel of immunohistochemistry (IHC) markers. The objective of this current project was to study the molecular classification of commonly used breast cancer cell lines by IHC analysis. Seventeen breast cancer cell lines were harvested, fixed in formalin and made into cell blocks. IHC analyses were performed on each cell block with antibodies to estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), HER2, EGFR, CK5/6, Ki-67 and androgen receptor (AR). Among the 17 cell lines, MCF-7 and ZR-75-1 fell to Luminal A subtype; BT-474 to Luminal B subtype; SKBR-3, MDA-MD-435 and AU 565 to HER2 over-expression subtype; MDA-MB-231, MCF-12A, HBL 101, HS 598 T, MCF-10A, MCF-10F, BT-20, 468 and BT-483 to basal subtype. MDA-MB-453 belonged to Unclassified subtype. Since each subtype defined by this IHC-based molecular classification does show a distinct clinical outcome, attention should be paid when choosing a cell line for any study.
PMCID: PMC2914277  PMID: 20697531
molecular classification; breast cancer; cell lines; immunohistochemistry

Results 1-3 (3)