Expression of Androgen Receptor and Cancer Stem Cell Markers (CD44+/CD24 and ALDH1+): Prognostic Implications in Invasive Breast Cancer

Nazia Riaz, Romana Idress, Sadia Habib, Iqbal Azam, El Nasir MA Lalani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Androgen receptor (AR) has emerged as a significant prognostic marker in early breast cancer (BCa). Association of AR with cancer stem cell (CSC) markers in BCa is unknown. Aim of the present study was to evaluate the immunohistochemical expression of AR, CD44, CD24 and ALDH1 in a cohort of Pakistani patients diagnosed with invasive BCa and to correlate the expression with 5- year disease free survival. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We evaluated immunohistochemical expression AR, CD44, CD24 and ALDH1 in formalin fixed paraffin embedded archival blocks of 166 cases of primary invasive BCa (stage I-III) and correlated the expression with clinicopathological variables and outcome using univariable and multivariable analysis. Survival data was computed by Kaplan Meier curves. RESULTS: Expression of AR was observed in 62.7% tumors whereas CD44, CD24 and ALDH1 were expressed in 61.4%, 44% and 30.1% tumors, respectively. AR expression was significantly associated with T1-T2 tumors, lower grade, estrogen and progesterone receptor expression (P <.05) and remained an independent prognostic indicator in multivariable analysis (adjusted HR 0.33, 95% CI 0.13–0.81; P =.016). Significant association was observed between concordant expression of AR and CD24 (P =.001) with a favorable impact on survival (P =.007) whereas expression of CSC phenotypes (CD44+, CD44+/CD24 and ALDH1+) did not correlate with adverse outcome (P >.05). However, AR expression retained the association with better prognosis even in patients whose tumors exhibited a CSC phenotype. CONCLUSIONS: Expression of AR and CD24 in stage I-III invasive BCa correlates with favorable clinicopathological features and delineates a subgroup of patients with better disease-free survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)920-929
Number of pages10
JournalTranslational Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


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