Evaluation of Androgen Levels in men
Androgens are thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. We evaluated androgen levels in 3 age-matched groups of men who were part of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging: 1) 16 men with no prostatic disease by urologic history and exam (control group); 2) 20 men with a histologic diagnosis of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) who had undergone simple prostatectomy; and 3) 20 men with a histologic diagnosis of prostate cancer (16 with local/regional cancer, and 4 with metastatic cancer). Luteinizing hormone (LH), total testosterone (T), and free T were measured on stored AM sera by radioimmunoassay (RIA).
Free T was also calculated from the measured concentrations of total T and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). The median number of repeated sex steroid measurements ranged from 6-9 over a period from 7-25 years prior to the diagnosis of prostate disease. There were no significant differences in age-adjusted LH, total T, SHBG, or calculated free T levels among the groups at 0-5, 5-10, and 10-15 years before diagnosis. These data suggest that there are no measurable differences in serum testosterone levels among men who are destined to develop prostate cancer and those without the disease.