Hemostatic abnormalities are common in patients with metastatic malignancy and are attributed, in part, to materials secreted by tumor cells. Tumor stimulation might therefore cause further perturbation of hemostasis. This article reports observations on the effects of androgen stimulation on multiple hemostatic parameters in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Testosterone was given before chemotherapy in an experimental protocol designed to increase tumor sensitivity to cytotoxic agents. The following parameters were measured on day 0 (before) and days 2 and 4 of fluoxymesterone administration: PT, APTT, platelet count, plasma betathromboglobulin (BTG), platelet factor 4 (PF4), fibrinogen, fibrin(ogen) split products (FSP), factor VIII coagulant activity (VIII C), von Willebrand factor antigen (vWF Ag), fibrinopeptide A (FPA), antithrombin III (AT III), and protein C antigen (PC). Ten patients were studied during 17 cycles of hormonal stimulation. Baseline levels of BTG, PF4, fibrinogen, FSP, factor VIII C, vWF Ag, and FPA were significantly elevated compared with normal control. Although androgen stimulation resulted in elevation of BTG, FPA, and FSP levels by day 4 in many patients, the changes for the entire group were not statistically significant. Other parameters remained unchanged or were only slightly elevated. Two patients developed laboratory evidence of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) but were clinically unaffected. Our data suggest that most patients with metastatic prostate cancer show evidence of ongoing activation of platelets, coagulation, and fibrinolysis. In a few individual patients, androgen stimulation of this hormonally dependent tumor may cause further activation of platelets, coagulation, and fibrinolysis.
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