The role of testosterone in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer

Authors


Takashi Imamoto md, Department of Urology, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Email: t-imamo@pg7.so-net.ne.jp

Abstract

Abstract:  Relationships between androgenic hormones and prostatic tissue growth are complex. It is certainly true that the prostate will not develop without androgens and the gland will atrophy if androgen support is withdrawn. The hormonal hypothesis remains one of the most important hypotheses in the etiology of prostate cancer (PCa), and efforts are continuing to improve the understanding of androgen actions in PCa. Although evidence from epidemiological studies of associations between circulating levels of androgens and PCa risk has been inconsistent, the traditional view that higher testosterone (T) levels represent a risk factor for PCa appears to have little evidentiary support. Reinvestigation of the relationship between T and PCa seems important and necessary if a new, clinically and scientifically rewarding concept is to be constructed. The present review considers the metabolism and intraprostatic action of T, epidemiological evidence, and the association between T and PCa risk.

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