This study was carried out to evaluate the metabolic consequences of osteosclerotic skeletal metastases of prostatic origin in a homogeneous group of patients. We found significantly increased mean values of serum alkaline phosphatase activity and significantly reduced mean values of serum phosphate, 24-h urinary calcium, fasting calcium excretion and TmP/GFR in cancer patients with respect to age-matched controls. Mean serum immunoreactive parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels were raised, with two patients showing increased values of the hormone above our normal limits. Our findings indicate that mild secondary hyperparathyroidism is a feature of these patients. However, it cannot be excluded that both the reduced serum phosphate and TmP/GFR values may be related, at least in some cases, to the effects of the tumour itself on tubular reabsorption of phosphate.