Urinary testosterone as a marker of risk of recurrence in operable breast cancer

Paola Ballerini, Saro Oriana, Piergiorgio Duca, Antonia Martinetti, Elisabetta Venturelli, Leonardo Ferrari, Stella Dolci, Giorgio Secreto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the role of urinary testosterone levels as a marker of risk of recurrent disease in 113 operable breast cancer patients (70 premenopausal, 43 postmenopausal). Twenty-four-hour urine collections for testosterone measurement were obtained before surgical treatment, between 20-40 days thereafter, and then every 6 months for 5 years. The cutoff values to separate 'high testosterone (A+)' from 'normal testosterone (A-)' were 8.0μg/24h in premenopause and 4.9μg/24h in postmenopause. Urinary testosterone levels were considered high when they exceeded the cutoff value in at least 2 of the first 3 measurements (pretreatment, post-treatment, 6 months) of each patient. According to the aforementioned criterion, 33 patients (29.2%) had high testosterone levels, which were associated to axillary node involvement in 16 patients. Thirteen of the latter relapsed during the 5-year follow-up period (5/7 in premenopause, 8/9 in postmenopause). Relapse-free survival (RFS) curves were drawn only for node-positive patients owning to the small number of recurrences observed in the node-negative group. In premenopausal node-positive patients, RFS was significantly different for patients presenting high and normal urinary testosterone levels (77% vs 28%, respectively; logrank test, p<0.006). In postmenopausal node-positive patients, RFS was also different between the two groups (54% vs 11% in 'high' and 'normal' excretors, respectively) but the difference was not statistically significant. The present findings suggest that urinary testosterone is a prognostic indicator of early breast cancer recurrence in node-positive patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1993


  • breast cancer recurrence
  • risk
  • urinary testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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