Ann Conkle
Mar 23, 2012

Mayo Clinic-TGen study role testosterone may play in triple negative breast cancer

Created at Mar 23, 2012, 8:28am PDT

Preliminary results of a Mayo Clinic - Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) collaborative study shows the testosterone receptor may be a potential target to attack in treating triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Unlike other forms of breast cancer in which treatments are tailored to specifically target hormone receptors such as estrogen and progesterone or HER-2 proteins that can promote the growth and spread of cancer cells, triple negative cancer cells do not possess markers for estrogen, progesterone or HER-2s. "The goal of the study was to define what may be fueling TNBC, thereby identifying new potential options for effective targeted treatment," says co-lead researcher Heather Cunliffe, Associate Professor and head of TGen's breast and ovarian cancer research unit. "The team discovered that the androgen receptor is expressed in a significant proportion of these tumors, and moreover, the androgen-receptive positive tumors shared a unique clinical behavior."