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Cancer of the prostate: Early diagnosis by zinc and hormone analysis?


Zinc, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone concentrations have been measured in normal prostatic tissue and in specimens obtained from untreated patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and carcinoma of the prostate (CaP). The metal--androgen relationship was examined and related to the pathological condition of the patients. The evidence suggests that discriminant analysis combining the hormonal data into a single variable is a reliable test for distinguishing between BPH and CaP patients. We have observed that the high Zn values found in BPH specimens were always associated with a DTH:T ratio greater than 1. Androgen tissue ratios less than 1 were characteristic of all CaP specimens, and these were usually preceded by a reduction in prostatic Zn concentration. Since these patterns, particularly those associated with neoplasia, precede the clinical manifestations, they may be used as an index for predicting the onset of carcinoma in the prostate gland. They may also be of value in monitoring the progress of the disease.


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Habib, F., Mason, M., Smith, P. et al. Cancer of the prostate: Early diagnosis by zinc and hormone analysis?. Br J Cancer 39, 700–704 (1979).

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