Endogenous sex hormones and prostate cancer: a collaborative analysis of 18 prospective studies

J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008 Feb 6;100(3):170-83. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djm323. Epub 2008 Jan 29.


Background: Sex hormones in serum have been hypothesized to influence the risk of prostate cancer. We performed a collaborative analysis of the existing worldwide epidemiologic data to examine these associations in a uniform manner and to provide more precise estimates of risks.

Methods: Data on serum concentrations of sex hormones from 18 prospective studies that included 3886 men with incident prostate cancer and 6438 control subjects were pooled by the Endogenous Hormones and Prostate Cancer Collaborative Group. Relative risks (RRs) of prostate cancer by fifths of serum hormone concentration were estimated by use of conditional logistic regression with stratification by study, age at recruitment, and year of recruitment. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: No associations were found between the risk of prostate cancer and serum concentrations of testosterone, calculated free testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, androstenedione, androstanediol glucuronide, estradiol, or calculated free estradiol. The serum concentration of sex hormone-binding globulin was modestly inversely associated with prostate cancer risk (RR in the highest vs lowest fifth = 0.86, 95% confidence interval = 0.75 to 0.98; P(trend) = .01). There was no statistical evidence of heterogeneity among studies, and adjustment for potential confounders made little difference to the risk estimates.

Conclusions: In this collaborative analysis of the worldwide data on endogenous hormones and prostate cancer risk, serum concentrations of sex hormones were not associated with the risk of prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Androgens / blood
  • Androstenediols / blood
  • Androstenedione / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate / blood
  • Dihydrotestosterone / blood
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Glucuronides / blood
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Research Design
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Androgens
  • Androstenediols
  • Glucuronides
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Estradiol
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate