Development of prostate cancer after pituitary dysfunction: a report of 8 patients
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Eight patients with a history of pituitary dysfunction were seen in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for evaluation of their prostate carcinoma. Because prostate cancer is a hormonally responsive cancer, hormonal abnormalities from pituitary dysfunction may have played a role in its development. In addition, many patients with pituitary dysfunction receive exogenous hormonal replacement. The histories of these 8 patients were reviewed to look for any common underlying factor in the development of their prostate cancer. METHODS:The radiation oncology charts, hospital charts, and pathology reports were reviewed. The cause and treatment of the pituitary disorder were reviewed. Hormonal dysfunction, hormonal replacement, and treatment duration were recorded. The interval to the development of prostate cancer, stage at diagnosis, prostate-specific antigen level, Gleason score, treatment, and treatment outcome were also investigated. RESULTS:We found a variety of pituitary disorders and treatments. However, all patients received testosterone replacement therapy prior to the development of their prostate cancer (median of 30 months). The time to the development of the cancer ranged from 26 to 250 months (median 98). Patients had Stage T2 or T3 tumors at diagnosis. Patients were treated either with radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy. Six of the 8 patients were alive and doing well at their last follow-up examination. CONCLUSIONS:Prostate cancer has been shown to be androgen responsive. All the patients in this series were placed on physiologic testosterone replacement for pituitary dysfunction. The role of testosterone in the initiation of prostate cancer has been debated. However, at the present time, it seems appropriate to establish close monitoring for prostate cancer in patients receiving androgen therapy for pituitary dysfunction.