Does Perioperative Testosterone Predict Post-Prostatectomy Genomic Risk Score?

J Urol. 2022 Jun;207(6):1214-1221. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000002440. Epub 2022 Jan 20.


Purpose: The role of endogenous testosterone in de novo prostate cancer pathogenesis in humans remains unclear. The effect of testosterone on the tumor genome is not explored. We sought to explore the correlation between perioperative testosterone level and genomic risk score in a cohort of men who underwent radical prostatectomy.

Materials and methods: We included patients who underwent radical prostatectomy (2013-2018) and had adverse pathological features in their final surgical specimens (positive margin, and/or pT3a or higher). The outcome of interest was the genomic risk score: low (<0.45), intermediate (0.45-0.6) and high (>0.6). The associations between serum testosterone level and 188 gene expression-based signatures were examined. Secondary outcomes of interest included biochemical recurrence and receipt of secondary treatment.

Results: The median genomic risk score was lower in the low testosterone group compared to the intermediate and normal testosterone groups (0.38 vs 0.52 vs 0.53, respectively; p=0.049). There was no difference in biochemical recurrence-free survival between the 3 testosterone groups (p=0.9). Patients with low testosterone levels had higher odds of receiving secondary treatment (OR: 2.27; 95% CI: 1.14-4.50; p=0.02) than those with normal levels. A total of 43 (of 188) gene expression signatures were associated with testosterone level (p <0.05). In total, 33 signatures were positively associated with serum testosterone levels, including 12 signatures involved in DNA repair pathways.

Conclusions: This is the first study to assess the correlation of preoperative testosterone level on the tumor transcriptome and showed no clinical correlation between pre-defined genomic risk score groups and testosterone groups. This study adds to the notion of the limited role of endogenous testosterone on the development of de novo high-risk localized prostate cancer.

Keywords: biomarkers; prostatic neoplasms; testosterone.

MeSH terms

  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Risk Factors
  • Testosterone*


  • Testosterone
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen