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Tumori. 1983 Aug 31;69(4):293-8.

Abnormal serum hormone levels in lung cancer.


Serum levels of chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin were evaluated with the radioimmunoassay in 59 patients with lung cancer, 10 patients with benign lung disease, and 37 normal controls. HCG was present in 6.8% of the lung cancer patients but in none of the subjects of the other two groups. Prolactin and LH levels were significantly higher than normal in lung cancer patients (respectively p less than 0.001 and p less than 0.01) as well as in patients with benign lung disease (p less than 0.01 for both the hormones). Testosterone levels were significantly lower than normal in patients with lung cancer (p less than 0.05) but not in those with benign lung disease. When the patients were analyzed according to histologic type and clinical stage of disease, significantly lower than normal values of testosterone were found in patients with small cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. In the squamous cell carcinoma group, the patients with lymph node metastases had significantly lower testosterone levels than those without lymph node metastases. From these results, we may hypothesize that the raised levels of prolactin and LH are related to a pulmonary pathology, not necessarily neoplastic, whereas the low levels of testosterone are related to the presence of the tumor.

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