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Despite the existence of many promising anti-cancer therapies, not all breast cancers are equally treatable, due partly to the fact that focus has been primarily on a few select breast cancer biomarkers- notably ERα, PR and HER2. In cases like triple negative breast cancer (ERα-, PR-, and HER2-), there is a complete lack of available biomarkers for prognosis and therapeutic purposes. The goal of this review is to determine if other steroid receptors, like ERβ and AR, could play a prognostic and/or therapeutic role. Data from various in vitro, in vivo, and clinical breast cancer studies were examined to analyze the presence and function of ERβ, PR, and AR in the presence and absence of ERα. Additionally, we focused on studies that examined how expression of the various steroid receptor isoforms affects breast cancer progression. Our findings suggest that while we have a solid understanding of how these receptors work individually, how they interact and behave in the presence and absence of other receptors requires further research. Furthermore, there is an incomplete understanding of how the various steroid receptor isoforms interact and impact receptor function and breast cancer progression, partly due to the difficulty in detecting all the various isoforms. More large-scale clinical studies must be made to analyze systematically the expression of steroid hormone receptors and their respective isoforms in breast cancer patients in order to determine how these receptors interact with each other and in turn affect cancer progression.

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Originally published in the American Journal of Cancer Research, 7(8), 1617-1636. Licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0. The original material can be found here.