Sex hormones unrelated to prostate cancer risk

February 14, 2008

Sex hormones circulating in the blood do not appear to be associated with prostate cancer risk, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2008; 100:170-83).

Sex hormones circulating in the blood do not appear to be associated with prostate cancer risk, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2008; 100:170-83).

Andrew Roddam, DPhil, of Oxford University in England, and colleagues at the Endogenous Hormones and Prostate Cancer Collaborative Group, collected the original data from 18 studies and analyzed it to determine the relationship between blood levels of sex hormones and prostate cancer. The pooled data included 3,886 men with prostate cancer and 6,438 controls.

The researchers found no association between prostate cancer risk and blood levels of different forms of testosterone or estrogen.

“The results of this collaborative analysis of the existing worldwide data on the associations between endogenous hormone concentrations and prostate cancer risk indicate that circulating concentrations of androgens and [estrogens] do not appear to be associated with the risk of prostate cancer,” the authors wrote.

In an accompanying editorial, Paul Godley, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, commended the authors for collaborating on this analysis, and they encouraged researchers to use the results as an opportunity to shift the focus of prostate cancer research.

“The study obliges the scientific community to move past a seductive, clinically relevant, and biologically plausible hypothesis and get on with the difficult task of exploring, analyzing, and characterizing modifiable risk factors for prostate cancer,” the editorial stated.