Androgen receptor immunohistochemistry in genitourinary neoplasms

Elizabeth M. Williams, John P. Higgins, Ankur R. Sangoi, Jesse K. McKenney, Megan L. Troxell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Results: Androgen receptor was positive in 95 % of prostate carcinomas (n = 230), but 19 % of invasive urothelial carcinomas of the bladder (n = 190) and 33 % of non-invasive bladder urothelial carcinomas were also AR positive (N = 107). Furthermore, 16 % of renal pelvis urothelial carcinomas (n = 43) were positive. Of primary renal cell carcinomas, 19 % were AR positive (n = 307). From a metastatic renal cell carcinoma cohort, 28 % of metastases were AR positive (N = 126). Six percent of non-teratomatous testicular germ cell tumors stained for AR (n = 103).

Purpose: Androgen receptor (AR) is a recognized immunohistochemical marker of prostate cancer. However, the sensitivity and specificity of AR for prostate cancer in the setting of other genitourinary neoplasms has not been rigorously studied.

Methods: We employed tissue microarrays containing prostate carcinomas, urothelial carcinomas, renal cell carcinomas, and testicular neoplasms. Slides were stained immunohistochemically for AR.

Conclusions: Our data show that the sensitivity of AR immunohistochemistry for prostate cancer is 94.8 %. However, the specificity of AR is only 81.4 %, among our cohort of invasive genitourinary tumors. Thus, we find the specificity of AR suboptimal, yet AR may remain useful as a component of an immunostain panel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Urology and Nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Androgen receptor
  • Genitourinary carcinomas
  • Prostate carcinoma
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Testicular neoplasm
  • Urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Urology


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