Current opinion on the role of testosterone in the development of prostate cancer: A dynamic model

Xiaohui Xu, Xinguang Chen, Hui Hu, Amy B. Dailey, Brandie D. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Since the landmark study conducted by Huggins and Hodges in 1941, a failure to distinguish between the role of testosterone in prostate cancer development and progression has led to the prevailing opinion that high levels of testosterone increase the risk of prostate cancer. To date, this claim remains unproven. Presentation of the hypothesis: We present a novel dynamic mode of the relationship between testosterone and prostate cancer by hypothesizing that the magnitude of age-related declines in testosterone, rather than a static level of testosterone measured at a single point, may trigger and promote the development of prostate cancer. Testing the hypothesis: Although not easily testable currently, prospective cohort studies with population-representative samples and repeated measurements of testosterone or retrospective cohorts with stored blood samples from different ages are warranted in future to test the hypothesis. Implications of the hypothesis: Our dynamic model can satisfactorily explain the observed age patterns of prostate cancer incidence, the apparent conflicts in epidemiological findings on testosterone and risk of prostate cancer, racial disparities in prostate cancer incidence, risk factors associated with prostate cancer, and the role of testosterone in prostate cancer progression. Our dynamic model may also have implications for testosterone replacement therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number806
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgen
  • Dynamic model
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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