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Radiother Oncol. 2003 Sep;68(3):249-53.

Radiation therapy induced changes in male sex hormone levels in rectal cancer patients.

Author information

1
Department of Oncology, Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

To determine the effect of curative radiation therapy (46-50 Gy) on the sex hormone levels in male rectal cancer patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Twenty-five male rectal cancer patients (mean age 65 years), receiving pelvic radiation therapy (2 Gyx23-25 fractions in 5 weeks) were included. Serum testosterone, FSH and LH were determined before start of treatment, at the 10th and 25th fractions, and 4-6 weeks after completed radiotherapy. The testicular dose was determined by thermoluminescent dosimetry.

RESULTS:

Five weeks of radiation therapy (46-50 Gy) resulted in a 100% increase in serum FSH, a 70% increase in LH, and a 25% reduction in testosterone levels. After treatment, 35% of the patients had serum testosterone levels below lower limit of reference. The mean radiation dose to the testicles was 8.4 Gy. A reduction in testosterone values was observed already after a mean dose of 3.3 Gy (10th fraction).

CONCLUSION:

Radiation therapy (46-50 Gy) for rectal cancer resulted in a significant increase in serum FSH and LH and a significant decrease in testosterone levels, indicating that sex hormone production is sensitive to radiation exposure in patients with a mean age of 65 years.

PMID:
13129632
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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