High testosterone levels in prostate tissue obtained by needle biopsy correlate with poor-prognosis factors in prostate cancer patients

BMC Cancer. 2014 Sep 26;14:717. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-14-717.


Background: There is currently no consensus on the correlations between androgen concentrations in prostate tissue and blood and stage and pathological grade of prostate cancer. In this study, we used a newly-developed ultra-sensitive liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method to measure testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) concentrations in blood and needle biopsy prostate specimens from patients with prostate cancer.

Methods: We analyzed androgen levels in 196 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. All patients had undergone systematic needle biopsy, and an additional needle biopsy from the peripheral zone was conducted for the simultaneous determination of T and DHT. We analyzed the relationships between T and DHT levels in tissue and blood and Gleason score, clinical stage, and percentage of positive biopsy cores, using multivariate analysis.

Results: The median T and DHT levels in blood were 3551.0 pg/mL and 330.5 pg/mL, respectively. There was a strong correlation between serum T and DHT. The median T and DHT levels in prostate tissue were 0.5667 pg/mg and 7.0625 pg/mg, respectively. In multivariate analysis, serum prostate-specific antigen and tissue T levels were significantly associated with poor prognosis; high T levels in prostate tissue were significantly related to high Gleason score (p = 0.041), advanced clinical stage (p = 0.002), and a high percentage of positive biopsy cores (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that high T levels in prostate tissue are related to high Gleason score, advanced clinical stage, and a high percentage of positive biopsy cores in patients with prostate cancer. T level in needle biopsy specimens may therefore be a useful prognostic factor in prostate cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Dihydrotestosterone / blood*
  • Humans
  • Kallikreins / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Prognosis
  • Prostate / metabolism*
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Testosterone
  • Kallikreins
  • kallikrein-related peptidase 3, human
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen