Haematological Markers of Prostate Cancer Risk

Pavankumar Kamat

June 03, 2020

A new study has identified associations between several haematological parameters and the risk of prostate cancer. The findings were published in the journal  Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Researchers analysed complete blood counts of 209,686 men from the UK Biobank without a cancer diagnosis at baseline. Of these, 5,723 men had a diagnosis of prostate cancer (including 323 deaths from prostate cancer) after a mean follow-up of 6.8 years.

Higher red blood cell (HR per 1 standard deviation (SD) increase, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.05-1.13) and platelet counts (HR per 1 SD increase, 1.07, 95% CI, 1.04-1.11) were associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, whereas higher mean corpuscular volume (HR per 1 SD increase, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.87-0.93), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (HR per 1 SD increase, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.87-0.93), mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (HR per 1 SD increase, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.77-0.97) and mean sphered cell volume (HR per 1 SD increase, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.87-0.94) were associated with lower odds of developing prostate cancer. White blood cell indices were not associated with prostate cancer diagnosis.

Higher white blood cell count (HR per 1 SD increase, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.05-1.24) and neutrophil count (HR per 1 SD increase, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.09-1.48) had an association with prostate cancer mortality; however, red blood cell and platelet indices had no association with prostate cancer mortality.

The authors commented: "The associations of blood indices with prostate cancer risk and mortality implicate shared common causes with prostate cancer. These relationships are compatible with the hypothesised relationships of testosterone, folate, vitamin B12 and inflammation with prostate cancer development."

Watts EL, Perez-Cornago A, Kothari J, Allen NE, Travis RC, Key TJ. Haematological markers and prostate cancer risk: a prospective analysis in UK Biobank. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev.2020 May 26 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1525. PMID: 32457180.  View abstract 

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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