Plasma testosterone linked to recurrent cancer in women

August 1, 2007

Postmenopausal women with surgically removed but otherwise untreated breast cancer are likely to have a poorer outcome if they are found to have high levels of testosterone, according to study results published in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Postmenopausal women with surgically removed but otherwise untreated breast cancer are likely to have a poorer outcome if they are found to have high levels of testosterone, according to study results published in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Andrea Micheli, PhD, of Fondazione IRCCS in Milan, Italy, and colleagues measured the incidence of recurrent cancer in 194 postmenopausal women with surgically resected breast cancer to test the association of cancer recurrence with testosterone levels taken at baseline. The women were part of the control group from a previous study with a median follow-up of 14 years.

Patients with testosterone levels of 0.40 ng/mL or higher were more than twice as likely to have any cancer event compared to those with the lowest levels, and were 77% more likely to have a relapse or second primary breast cancer.

Micheli A, Meneghini E, Secreto G, et al. Plasma testosterone and prognosis of postmenopausal breast cancer patients. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25:2685-2690.