Increase of hypophyseal hormone levels in male head and neck cancer patients

Research output: Article

6 Citations (Scopus)


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) develops in at least 80% of cases in men with a history of smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, still it is only diagnosed in a small proportion of alcoholics. Endocrine milieu is an important factor in carcinogenesis and prognosis of several cancer types. The aim of our study was to investigate sex steroid and hypophyseal hormone status of male HNSCC patients in comparison to healthy volunteers and to patients with alcoholic liver disease, to determine possible hormonal alterations characteristic of cancer. Liver function (GGT level), and serum levels of gonadotropic hormones (FSH, LH, prolactin), sex steroids (estradiol, progesterone, testosterone) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were compared in 130 male HNSCC patients, 54 patients with alcoholic liver disease but no known cancer, and 56 healthy controls. We found abnormal values of liver function in both HNSCC patients and alcoholics compared to healthy controls, suggesting the presence of alcoholic liver disease in the former group as well. On the other hand, a significant elevation in the level of DHEA, FSH and LH was observed in cancer patients exclusively. As a conclusion, abnormal alterations in sex steroid hormone levels can frequently be found in HNSCC patients, which may be caused in part by the alcoholic liver damage accompanying the disease. The significant increase in FSH and LH serum levels, observed only in the cancer patients, indicates that these hormones may play a role in the development and/or progression of HNSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-344
Number of pages4
JournalPathology and Oncology Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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