Purpose: We investigated the change in dihydrotestosterone in the prostate during androgen deprivation therapy in connection with prostate cancer aggressiveness using the Gleason score.
Materials and methods: A total of 28 patients with clinically localized prostate cancer who were treated with androgen deprivation therapy for 6 months were enrolled in this study. Dihydrotestosterone in the prostate and serum were analyzed using liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry after polar derivatization before and after androgen deprivation therapy.
Results: The change in dihydrotestosterone during androgen deprivation therapy in the prostate with Gleason score 7 to 10 prostate cancer was significantly smaller than that in the prostate with Gleason score 6 or less (p = 0.016). There were no significant differences between patients with Gleason score 7 to 10 prostate cancer and patients with Gleason score 6 or less in dihydrotestosterone in the prostate, in serum androgens and in serum androgen ratios before and after androgen deprivation therapy.
Conclusions: Low dihydrotestosterone in the prostate is probably sufficient to propagate the growth of aggressive prostate cancer. Furthermore, the prostate with aggressive prostate cancer can produce androgens from adrenal precursors more autonomously than the prostate with nonaggressive prostate cancer under a low testosterone environment with testicular suppression.