Journal of Clinical Oncology November 4, 2013, doi: 10.1200/JCO.2013.51.1915
Wen-Qing Li, Abrar A. Qureshi, Jing Ma, Alisa M. Goldstein, Edward L. Giovannucci, Meir J. Stampfer and Jiali Han⇑
Wen-Qing Li and Alisa M. Goldstein, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD; Wen-Qing Li, Abrar A. Qureshi, Jing Ma, Edward L. Giovannucci, Meir J. Stampfer, and Jiali Han, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School; Edward L. Giovannucci and Meir J. Stampfer, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Jiali Han, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Simon Cancer Center, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN; and Jiali Han, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, China.
Corresponding author: Jiali Han, PhD, 181 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115; e-mail: jiali.han at channing.harvard.edu.
Purpose Steroid hormones, particularly androgens, play a major role in prostatic carcinogenesis. Personal history of severe acne, a surrogate for higher androgen activity, has been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer (PCa), and one recent study indicated that severe teenage acne was a novel risk factor for melanoma. These findings suggest a possible relationship between PCa and risk of melanoma. We prospectively evaluated this association among US men.
Methods A total of 42,372 participants in the Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study (HPFS; 1986 to 2010) were included. Biennially self-reported PCa diagnosis was confirmed using pathology reports. Diagnosis of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) was self-reported biennially, and diagnosis of melanoma was pathologically confirmed. We sought to confirm the association in 18,603 participants from the Physicians’ Health Study (PHS; 1982 to 1998).
Results We identified 539 melanomas in the HPFS. Personal history of PCa was associated with an increased risk of melanoma (multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.83; 95% CI, 1.32 to 2.54). Although we also detected a marginally increased risk of NMSC associated with PCa (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.995 to 1.16), the difference in the magnitude of the association between melanoma and NMSC was significant (P for heterogeneity = .002). We did not find an altered risk of melanoma associated with personal history of other cancers. The association between PCa and risk of incident melanoma was confirmed in the PHS (HR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.12 to 4.21).
Conclusion Personal history of PCa is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, which may not be entirely a result of greater medical scrutiny.
- Medscape reporting on this study
Interestingly, there was no increased risk for prostate cancer associated with melanoma. In other words, it is not a 2-way street or, in the parlance of the researchers, it is not a "bidirectional relationship."