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Cellular and Molecular Biology

Arming androgen receptors to oppose oncogenic estrogen receptor activity in breast cancer


Most breast cancers are driven by oncogenic activity of the estrogen receptor alpha (ER). Resistance to ER target therapies is the major cause of breast cancer death. Recently, there has been renewed interest in targeting the androgen receptor (AR) to treat ER-driven breast cancers. Herein, we discuss evidence for an AR agonist, not antagonist, treatment strategy.

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Fig. 1: Schematic diagram of AR-mediated inhibition of ER genomic signalling associated with anti-tumour activity.

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TEH wrote the manuscript with critical discussions and editing from ARD and WDT.

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Correspondence to Wayne D. Tilley.

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TEH is currently funded by a fellowship from the National Breast Cancer Foundation (IIRS-19-009). This work was supported by grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (1130077; 1084416) and a joint Movember & National Breast Cancer Foundation Initiative Grant (MNBCF-17-012).

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Hickey, T.E., Dwyer, A.R. & Tilley, W.D. Arming androgen receptors to oppose oncogenic estrogen receptor activity in breast cancer. Br J Cancer 125, 1599–1601 (2021).

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