Molecular profiling of male breast cancer - Lost in translation?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Breast cancer is the most common cancer form in women and it has been extensively studied on the molecular level. Male breast cancer (MBC), on the other hand, is rare and has not been thoroughly investigated in terms of transcriptional profiles or genomic aberrations. Most of our understanding of MBC has therefore been extrapolated from knowledge of female breast cancer. Although differences in addition to similarities with female breast cancer have been reported, the same prognostic and predictive markers are used to determine optimal management strategies for both men and women diagnosed with breast cancer. This review is focused on prognosis for MBC patients, prognostic and predictive factors and molecular subgrouping; comparisons are made with female breast cancer. Information was collected from relevant literature on both male and female breast cancer from the MEDLINE database between 1992 and 2014. MBC is a heterogeneous disease, and on the molecular level many differences compared to female breast cancer have recently been revealed. Two distinct subgroups of MBC, luminal M1 and luminal M2, have been identified which differ from the well-established intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer in women. These novel subgroups of breast cancer therefore appear unique to MBC. Furthermore, several studies report inferior survival for men diagnosed with breast cancer compared to women. New promising prognostic biomarkers for MBC (e.g. NAT1) deserving further attention are reviewed. Further prospective studies aimed at validating the novel subgroups and recently proposed biomarkers for MBC are warranted to provide the basis for optimal patient management in this era of personalized medicine. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Rare Cancers.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-535
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Issue numberMay 16
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch

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