To investigate whether polyamines may be valuable diagnostic and prognostic markers in prostate cancer, the presence of polyamines was studied in various human prostatic tissues using both proton magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy and high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). The HPLC results showed that normal and benign hyperplastic prostatic tissues were characterized by a high content of spermine. Spermine levels were reduced in tumor tissue, especially in prostatic carcinoma with metastases, and in xenografts of human prostatic carcinoma cells. These preliminary results indicate that spermine may be used as a biomarker for malignant behavior. The MR spectroscopy study showed that it is possible to detect spermine resonances in prostatic biopsy material by one-dimensional and two-dimensional J-resolved MR spectroscopy at high field (600 MHz). Localized one-dimensional in vitro MR spectra obtained at the clinical field strength of 1.5 T showed spermine signals in the region between 3.0 and 3.3 ppm. In in vivo MR spectra of the human prostate, however, these signals were obscured by resonances of choline (3.2 ppm) and creatine (3.0 ppm).