Absence of relationship between steroid hormone levels and prostate cancer tumor grade

Urology. 2009 Feb;73(2):356-61; discussion 361-2. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2008.07.068. Epub 2008 Nov 26.


Objectives: To analyze the relationship between plasma testosterone and estradiol levels on prostate biopsy and radical prostatectomy Gleason scores in a cohort of patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer.

Methods: Patients with prostate cancer evaluated at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute from 2001 to 2005 who were enrolled in a prospective sample banking protocol were eligible for this study. Stored plasma was processed for total testosterone, total estradiol, and sex hormone-binding globulin levels using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The frequency of high-grade biopsy and radical prostatectomy Gleason scores (>6) was the primary endpoint. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the relationship between the hormone levels and high-grade Gleason scores while adjusting for sex hormone-binding globulin, age, body mass index, and prostate-specific antigen.

Results: A total of 539 patients were included in this study, 199 of whom underwent radical prostatectomy. The median prostate-specific antigen level was 5.1 ng/dL, and 67% of the cancers were not palpable. The Gleason score was 2-6, 7, and 8-10 in 53%, 37%, and 10% of the cancers, respectively. On univariate analysis of the high-grade biopsy and radical prostatectomy Gleason score, the total testosterone, total estradiol, and estradiol-to-testosterone ratio were not significant as continuous or categorical variables. Adjusting these results for sex hormone-binding globulin level, body mass index, age, and prostate-specific antigen level did not change the conclusions, and these results were unchanged when categorizing high-grade prostate cancer as Gleason score 8-10.

Conclusions: No relationship was found between the circulating steroid hormone levels and the Gleason score in this cohort.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Estradiol / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis*
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol