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Circulating testosterone and prostate cancer. A brief review


In vitro andin vivo studies show that androgens stimulate prostate cancer. However, evidence from epidemiological studies of an association between circulating levels of androgens and prostate cancer risk has been inconsistent, but most studies have likely been undersized given that the association may be relatively weak.

We review prospective studies on the association of serum levels of free and total testosterone, the principal androgen in circulation with risk of prostate cancer.

No significant association between total or free testosterone and risk of prostate cancer was found in studies that together included 1,525 cases of prostate cancer and 4,349 controls.

No support was found for the hypothesis that high levels of circulating testosterone within a physiological range stimulate development and growth of prostate cancer. Intraprostatic androgen metabolism may still be of importance for prostate cancer development.


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Correspondence to Pär Stattin.

Additional information

Communication au XXo Congrès de la Société d’Andrologie de Langue Française, Orléans, 11–13 Décembre 2003.

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Stattin, P. Circulating testosterone and prostate cancer. A brief review. Androl. 14, 375–380 (2004).

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Key words

  • prostate cancer
  • androgens
  • testosterone
  • epidemiology
  • prospective studies