We sought to evaluate androgen receptor (AR) and PI3K pathway activity in ovarian cancer cell lines and tissue and determine if either pathway was correlated with growth of ovarian cancers. AR expression and activity were quantified using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and RT-qPCR in six ovarian cancer cell lines and 51 tissue samples. Phospho-mTOR and AKT expression were quantified by IHC as well. Cell growth was assessed in the presence of AR modulating drugs and metformin. We found that despite robust AR expression and activity, no cell line was dependent on androgen for growth. However, metformin inhibited activity in five of the six cell lines. Patient tissues had large variation in AR expression and activity, as well as in expression of phospho-mTOR and AKT, but none of these variables correlated with progression-free survival (PFS). AR expression and activity did not predict the dependence of ovarian cancer cell lines on androgens for growth, and AR expression and activity did not correlate with PFS. This result suggests that AR expression as a criterion for patient selection for clinical trials evaluating molecules targeting AR may not predict response for ovarian cancer patients.
By Addie Hill, Mihaela Cristea, Miaoling He, Paul Frankel, Susan Neuhausen, Sumanta K Pal & Jeremy O Jones