Evidence of androgen action in endometrial and ovarian cancers

Douglas Gibson, Ioannis Simitsidellis, Frances Collins, Philippa T Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Endometrial and ovarian cancers are common gynecological malignancies. The impact of androgen action in these cancers is poorly understood however there is emerging evidence to suggest that targeting androgen signalling may be of therapeutic benefit. Epidemiological evidence suggests that there is an increased risk of endometrial cancer associated with exposure to elevated levels of androgens and genetic variants in genes related to both androgen biosynthesis and action are associated with increased risk of both endometrial and ovarian cancer. Androgen receptors may be a potential therapeutic target in endometrial cancer due to reported anti-proliferative activities of androgens. In contrast, androgens may promote growth of some ovarian cancers and anti-androgen therapy has been proposed. Introduction of new therapies targeting androgen receptors expressed in endometrial or ovarian cancers will require a much greater understanding of the impacts of cell context-specific androgen receptor-dependent signalling and how androgen receptors can cross-talk with other steroid receptors during progression of disease. This review considers the evidence that androgens may be important in the aetiology of endometrial and ovarian cancers with discussion of evidence for androgen action in normal and malignant endometrial and ovarian tissue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)T203-218
JournalEndocrine-Related Cancer
Issue number4
Early online date12 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


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