Characterisation of male breast cancer: a descriptive biomarker study from a large patient series

Matthew P. Humphries, Sreekumar Sundara Rajan, Hedieh Honarpisheh, Gabor Cserni, Jo Dent, Laura Fulford, Lee B. Jordan, J. Louise Jones, Rani Kanthan, Maria Litwiniuk, Anna Di Benedetto, Marcella Mottolese, Elena Provenzano, Sami Shousha, Mark Stephens, Janina Kulka, Ian O. Ellis, Akinwale N Titloye, Andrew M. Hanby, Abeer M. ShaabanValerie Speirs (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    Male breast cancer (MBC) is rare. We assembled 446 MBCs on tissue microarrays and assessed clinicopathological information, together with data from 15 published studies, totalling 1984 cases. By immunohistochemistry we investigated 14 biomarkers (ERα, ERβ1, ERβ2, ERβ5, PR, AR, Bcl-2, HER2, p53, E-cadherin, Ki67, survivin, prolactin, FOXA1) for survival impact. The main histological subtype in our cohort and combined analyses was ductal (81%, 83%), grade 2; (40%, 44%), respectively. Cases were predominantly ERα (84%, 82%) and PR positive (74%, 71%), respectively, with HER2 expression being infrequent (2%, 10%), respectively. In our cohort, advanced age (>67) was the strongest predictor of overall (OS) and disease free survival (DFS) (p = 0.00001; p = 0.01, respectively). Node positivity negatively impacted DFS (p = 0.04). FOXA1 p = 0.005) and AR p = 0.009) were both positively prognostic for DFS, remaining upon multivariate analysis. Network analysis showed ERα, AR and FOXA1 significantly correlated. In summary, the principle phenotype of MBC was luminal A, ductal, grade 2. In ERα+ MBC, only AR had prognostic significance, suggesting AR blockade could be employed therapeutically.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number45293
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2017


    • Journal article
    • Breast cancer
    • Tumour biomarkers


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