Osteolytic metastases are often associated with decreased renal tubular reabsorption of phosphate. There is, however, no specific data on phosphate metabolism in metastases from prostatic cancer, which are generally osteoblastic. The aim of the present study was to investigate renal handling of inorganic phosphate (Pi) in prostatic cancer, in patients without or with skeletal metastases of various extents. Forty-eight patients were the subjects of this study. There were 39 with malignant disease, of whom 27 had bony metastases. Nine other patients had benign prostate hyperplasia. Biochemical indexes of prostatic tumor, renal tubular reabsorption of calcium and Pi, biochemical markers of bone remodeling, and relevant calciotropic hormones were measured and analyzed in relation to the extent of skeletal metastases, as assessed by bone scintigraphy. A higher bone metastatic load was associated with significantly greater prostate-specific antigen and prostatic acid phosphatase levels (P < 0.05), increased levels of biochemical markers of bone formation (P < 0.05) and resorption (P < 0.001), higher maximal renal tubular reabsorption of Pi (TmPi/GFR; P < 0.05), and higher urinary cAMP excretion (P < 0.05). Nine patients among those with bone metastases (n = 27) had higher TmPi/GFR than metastasis-free patients. These had a greater value of osteocalcin (P < 0.001). Also, 8 of these had relatively more extensive skeletal metastatic load. In patients with prostatic cancer, high skeletal metastatic load was accompanied by increased TmPi/GFR despite higher urinary cAMP excretion, which is supposed to reduce the TmPi/GFR. These results support the hypothesis that renal tubular reabsorption of Pi is capable of adaptation to meet demands for minerals in the face of enhanced bone formation.