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

M. P. Humphries, S. Sundara Rajan, H. Honarpisheh, G. Cserni, J. Dent, L. Fulford, L. B. Jordan, J. L. Jones, R. Kanthan, M. Litwiniuk, A. Di Benedetto, M. Mottolese, E. Provenzano, S. Shousha, M. Stephens, J. Kulka, I. O. Ellis, A. N. Titloye, A. M. Hanby, A. M. ShaabanV. Speirs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 (ERalpha, ERbeta1, ERbeta2, ERbeta5, 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 ERalpha (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 ERalpha, AR and FOXA1 significantly correlated. In summary, the principle phenotype of MBC was luminal A, ductal, grade 2. In ERalpha+ MBC, only AR had prognostic significance, suggesting AR blockade could be employed therapeutically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45293
Number of pages1
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - Mar 28 2017


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