Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive breast cancer subtype with low overall survival rates and high molecular heterogeneity; therefore, few targeted therapies are available. The luminal androgen receptor (LAR) is the most consistently identified TNBC subtype, but the clinical utility has yet to be established. Here, we constructed a novel genomic classifier, LAR-Sig, that distinguishes the LAR subtype from other TNBC subtypes and provide evidence that it is a clinically distinct disease. A meta-Analysis of seven TNBC datasets (n = 1086 samples) from neoadjuvant clinical trials demonstrated that LAR patients have significantly reduced response (pCR) rates than non-LAR TNBC patients (odds ratio = 2.11, 95% CI: 1.33, 2.89). Moreover, deconvolution of the tumor microenvironment confirmed an enrichment of luminal epithelium corresponding with a decrease in basal and myoepithelium in LAR TNBC tumors. Increased immunosuppression in LAR patients may lead to a decreased presence of cycling T-cells and plasma cells. While, an increased presence of myofibroblast-like cancer-Associated cells may impede drug delivery and treatment. In summary, the lower levels of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), reduced immune activity in the micro-environment, and lower pCR rates after NAC, suggest that new therapeutic strategies for the LAR TNBC subtype need to be developed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research