Testosterone Replacement Therapy Drives Prostate Tumors in Rats

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Drives Prostate Tumors in Rats
prostateA study from a group of researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago suggests testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) such as implants and injections, can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer, which is known to affect 1 out of 7 men and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death. While a number of risk factors are known such as older age, African-American ethnicity, family history, diet, and obesity, the link between testosterone and prostate cancer is still not established. While testosterone is a weak complete carcinogen, it is a strong tumor promoter in rats. One of the authors of the study, Maarten C. Bosland, Ph.D., explained that in one experiment, the team noted prostate tumor growth in male rats receiving testosterone. One group had slow-release implants, another had standard testosterone implants. Both groups were then given a single dose of a carcinogen called N-nitroso-N-methylurea (MNU). Ten to eighteen percent of the rats with slow-dose testosterone implants developed prostate tumors, while an alarming 50 to 71 percent of those that had the standard implants developed tumors as well. This suggests that extra doses of testosterone that did not affect serum levels, can still drive tumor growth.
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