Androgen and breast cancer: An update

Keely M. McNamara, Hironobu Sasano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review The review is targeted at describing the advances in our understanding of androgen actions in the breast over the last 18 months. Androgens are current hot topics in breast cancer because of their potential as therapeutics in situations where we currently do not have good clinical options. This is true for both estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) negative and ERa positive cancers. Recent findings The review has focused on examining associations between androgen receptor and patient prognosis and outcomes in different breast cancer subtypes. A logical extension of this is covering the timely topic of the use of androgen-directed therapy in these patients. The principle settings in which this is being considered is in ERa positive cancer with therapeutic resistance to ER-directed therapies and in ERa negative breast cancer that lack current standard targeted therapies. Finally interactions between mutations, and the potential role of androgen in the normal hierarchy of mammary cell differentiation and the relationship of this to cancer, are considered. Summary Androgens are firmly established as important factors across multiple breast cancer subtypes. The future challenge for basic researchers and important development for clinicians is going to be translating this understanding into effective therapeutics for the benefit of breast cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1


  • androgens
  • breast cancer
  • steroid receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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