Role of 5alpha-Dihydrotestosterone and Androgen Receptor in Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer affecting women, with 1 in 9 Canadian females expected to develop the disease in their lifetime. About 90% of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers express androgen receptor (AR). Recent results in our laboratory demonstrated that the inactivation of 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the most potent androgen, contributes to estrogen-dependent breast cancer cell growth, and suggested additional pathways for DHT action in addition to the AR pathway. Our focus is to elucidate the role of AR and DHT in ER-positive breast cancer. To that end, we will use in vitro (cell-based) and in vivo models and perform functional assays and gene expression analyses. This experimental study in the area of oncology has the potential to identify genes and proteins associated with androgen pathways in growth regulation of estrogen-dependent breast cancer, and therefore can offer a starting point for the identification of new drug targets for combinatorial treatment of this cancer.

Faculty Supervisor:

Sheng-Xiang Lin


Juliette Aka



Biochemistry / Molecular biology


Life sciences




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