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J Natl Med Assoc. 2004 May;96(5):641-9.

Serum ferritin levels and transferrin saturation in men with prostate cancer.

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Department of Pediatrics, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


Elevated body iron stores (serum ferritin >300 microg/L, transferrin saturation TS >50%) are associated with increased risk of liver and lung cancers. To determine whether such association also exists for prostate cancer (PC), we measured serum ferritin, serum iron, total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), and TS in serum samples from 34 men with newly diagnosed, untreated PC and 84 healthy men, ranging in age from 49-78 years. In contrast with other malignancies, men with PC had significantly lower mean concentrations of serum ferritin (156 microg/L) and TS (24.35%) than those without PC (ferritin, 245 microg/L; TS, 31.98%) (p<0.05). The 95% confidence intervals for ferritin were 109-203 microg/L and 205-286 microg/L, and those for TS were 20.29-28.4% and 28.35-35.61% for men with and without PC, respectively. Significant differences were observed between both groups in the distribution of serum ferritin (<100, 101-300, >300 microg/L) and TS (<16, 16-50, >50%) (p<0.05). A lower percentage of cases than of controls had serum ferritin (17.6% versus 29.8%) and TS (5.9% versus 14.7%) above normal. These differences persisted when the analysis was limited to African-American men (31 cases and 52 controls). Data suggest that elevated body iron stores are less common in men with PC compared to those without PC.

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