Endogenous testosterone mirrors prostate cancer aggressiveness: correlation between basal testosterone serum levels and prostate cancer European Urology Association clinical risk classes in a large cohort of Caucasian patients

Int Urol Nephrol. 2020 Jul;52(7):1261-1269. doi: 10.1007/s11255-020-02398-x. Epub 2020 Feb 3.


Objective: To evaluate the association between basal total testosterone (TT) levels with the European Association of Urology (EAU) risk classes at the time of diagnosis of prostate cancer (PCA).

Methods: A retrospective review of prospectively collected data was carried out between November 2014 and March 2018. Preoperative basal TT levels and PSA were measured in 601 consecutive Caucasian patients who were not under androgen deprivation and undergoing surgery at a tertiary referral center. Patients were classified into low (reference group), intermediate- and high-risk/locally advanced classes. The multinomial logistic regression model evaluated associations of TT and other clinical factors with EAU risk classes.

Results: One hundred twenty four patients (24%) were low risk, 316 (52.6%) were intermediate, 199 (16.5%) were high risk and 42 (7%) were locally advanced. Median circulating basal TT levels increased along EAU classes. TT, PSA, percentage of biopsy-positive cores and tumor clinical stage were independently associated with the high-risk class (odds ratio, OR = 1.002; p = 0.030) but were not associated with intermediate-risk or locally advanced PCA when compared to the low-risk class. TT above the median value was an independent predictor of high-risk class PCA.

Conclusions: Basal TT levels are positively associated with low, intermediate and high EAU risk classes. The association is significant for the high-risk class when compared to the low-risk group, but was lost in locally advanced risk class. In PCA patients, high TT serum levels are associated with high-risk disease. Endogenous TT should be considered as a biological marker for assessing EAU PCA risk classes.

Keywords: EAU risk classes; Prostate cancer; Radical prostatectomy; Total testosterone; Tumor grade group.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Correlation of Data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Testosterone