Aims: Salivary duct carcinoma (SDC) is an uncommon, aggressive tumour that, histologically, resembles high-grade mammary ductal carcinoma, and is characterised by the expression of androgen receptor (AR). The androgen signalling pathway, a potential therapeutic target, can be regulated by FOXA1. This study aimed to evaluate the clinicopathological implications of FOXA1 in SDC. Methods and results: We examined the relationship between the immunoexpression of FOXA1 and FOXA1 mutations and clinicopathological factors, including the biomarker status and clinical outcome, in 142 SDCs. FOXA1 was expressed in 128 SDCs (90.1%); the immunoexpression was heterogeneous. SDCs with a higher FOXA1 labelling index (LI) (≥20%) more frequently showed less advanced tumors on T classification (P = 0.002). FOXA1 LI was correlated positively with the AR expression value (r = 0.430, P < 0.001). PI3K and p-mTOR positivity, and intact-PTEN, were associated with a higher FOXA1 LI. Twenty-two of 121 SDCs (18.2%) harboured FOXA1 gene mutations at the flanking regions in and around the forkhead DNA binding domain; however, the given gene mutation and the expression of FOXA1 were not significantly correlated. A multivariate analysis revealed that SDCs with a higher FOXA1 LI were associated with longer overall survival and progression-free survival (P = 0.029 and 0.016, respectively). Conclusions: In SDC, FOXA1, which may biologically interact with the AR and PI3K signalling pathways, is a putative biomarker that may be associated with a favourable prognosis. Further studies are needed to apply the findings to the development of targeted personalised therapy for patients with SDC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes