Current Routine Testosterone Immunoassays Are Unsuitable for Lowering the General Castration Cutoff Recommendation to <0.7 nmol/l (20 ng/dl).



Patients with advanced prostate cancer who are treated to reduce their testosterone to a castration level are monitored using testosterone measurements. The testing systems currently used for measurement do not support lowering of the testosterone cutoff value to 0.7 nmol/l. Testosterone cutoff values to define castration status should preferably be based on the measurement system in local use.


Testosterone measurements are essential in the management of patients with prostate cancer undergoing castration and androgen deprivation therapy. There has been an ongoing discussion on the testosterone castration cutoff (TCC), with the primary focus on large cohort studies in which the testosterone measurement system was not specified or studies that used individual testosterone measurement systems. Here we present a post hoc analysis of a study comparing testosterone measurement systems in a cohort of 120 castrated patients with prostate cancer. We investigated the suitability of general, measurement system-independent, TCC values recommended in all clinical guidelines. We show that the four testosterone immunoassays commonly used are unsuitable to support lowering of TCC to 0.7 nmol/l (20 ng/dl) testosterone, since testosterone levels are falsely quantified as higher than this cutoff in 4.2-29.2% of the castrated cohort, depending on the testosterone immunoassay used. When using 1.0 nmol/l (30 ng/dl) as the TCC for the Beckman immunoassay, 13.3% of the results were falsely quantified as being higher than this value. The results suggest that the measurement systems used in current practice do not support lowering the TCC to 0.7 nmol/l. Furthermore, a more local, immunoassay-dependent TCC should be considered.

More about this publication

European urology open science
  • Volume 48
  • Pages 98-100
  • Publication date 01-02-2023

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