Background/aim: Triple-negative breast cancers represent 15% of all mammary malignancies and encompass several entities with different genomic characteristics. Among these, luminal androgen receptor (LAR) tumors express the androgen receptor (AR) and are characterized by a genomic profile which resembles luminal breast cancers. Moreover, LAR malignancies are usually enriched in PIK3CA, KMTC, CDH, NF1, and AKT1 alterations. Still, molecular features, clinical behavior and prognosis of this variant remain controversial, while identification of effective treatments represents an unmet medical need. Additionally, the predictive role of the AR is unclear. Materials and methods: We performed an extensive next generation sequencing analysis using a commercially available panel in a cohort of patients with LAR breast cancer followed at two local Institutions. We next employed bioinformatic tools to identify signaling pathways involved in LAR pathogenesis and looked for potentially targetable alterations. Results: Eight patients were included in the study. In our cohort we found 26 known genetic alterations (KGAs) in 15 genes and 64 variants of unknown significance (VUS) in 59 genes. The most frequent KGAs were single nucleotide variants in PIK3CA, HER2, PTEN and TP53. Among VUS, CBFB, EP300, GRP124, MAP3K1, RANBP2 and TSC2 represented recurrently altered genes. We identified five signaling pathways (MAPK, PI3K/AKT, TP53, apoptosis and angiogenesis) involved in the pathogenesis of LAR breast cancer. Several alterations, including those in PIK3CA, ERBB2 and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling, were potentially targetable. Conclusion: Our findings confirm a role for PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling in the pathogenesis of LAR breast cancers and indicate that targeting this pathway, along with ERBB2 mutations, may represent an additional therapeutic strategy which deserves further exploration in larger studies.

Molecular Analysis of Luminal Androgen Receptor Reveals Activated Pathways and Potential Therapeutic Targets in Breast Cancer

Stella, Stefania;Vitale, Silvia Rita;Massimino, Michele;Motta, Gianmarco;Martorana, Federica;Vecchio, Giada Maria;Inzerilli, Nicola;Carciotto, Rosaria;Manzella, Livia;Caruso, Michele;Vigneri, Paolo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background/aim: Triple-negative breast cancers represent 15% of all mammary malignancies and encompass several entities with different genomic characteristics. Among these, luminal androgen receptor (LAR) tumors express the androgen receptor (AR) and are characterized by a genomic profile which resembles luminal breast cancers. Moreover, LAR malignancies are usually enriched in PIK3CA, KMTC, CDH, NF1, and AKT1 alterations. Still, molecular features, clinical behavior and prognosis of this variant remain controversial, while identification of effective treatments represents an unmet medical need. Additionally, the predictive role of the AR is unclear. Materials and methods: We performed an extensive next generation sequencing analysis using a commercially available panel in a cohort of patients with LAR breast cancer followed at two local Institutions. We next employed bioinformatic tools to identify signaling pathways involved in LAR pathogenesis and looked for potentially targetable alterations. Results: Eight patients were included in the study. In our cohort we found 26 known genetic alterations (KGAs) in 15 genes and 64 variants of unknown significance (VUS) in 59 genes. The most frequent KGAs were single nucleotide variants in PIK3CA, HER2, PTEN and TP53. Among VUS, CBFB, EP300, GRP124, MAP3K1, RANBP2 and TSC2 represented recurrently altered genes. We identified five signaling pathways (MAPK, PI3K/AKT, TP53, apoptosis and angiogenesis) involved in the pathogenesis of LAR breast cancer. Several alterations, including those in PIK3CA, ERBB2 and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling, were potentially targetable. Conclusion: Our findings confirm a role for PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling in the pathogenesis of LAR breast cancers and indicate that targeting this pathway, along with ERBB2 mutations, may represent an additional therapeutic strategy which deserves further exploration in larger studies.
2022
Triple-negative breast cancer
genomic alterations
luminal androgen receptor
next generation sequencing
predictive tools
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/547841
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