Serum Dehydroepiandrosterone and DHEA-sulfate in Patients With Adult T-cell Leukemia and Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type I Carriers

Serum Dehydroepiandrosterone and DHEA-sulfate in Patients With Adult T-cell Leukemia and Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type I Carriers

Serum Dehydroepiandrosterone and DHEA-sulfate in Patients With Adult T-cell Leukemia and Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type I Carriers

Abstract

The serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA-sulfate (DHEA-S) were determined by radioimmunoassay in 38 patients with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL). Levels of serum DHEA and DHEA-S were also measured in 60 human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) carriers, and did not differ from those in 60 healthy control subjects. Serum levels in patients with ATL were lower than those in the age- and sex-matched healthy controls and in HTLV-I carriers with statistical significance. Serum DHEA and DHEA-S in male patients with acute and lymphoma-type ATL were 1.06 +/- 0.77 ng/ml and 245.8 +/- 192.9 ng/ml, respectively. Levels in male patients with chronic and smoldering-type ATL were 1.69 +/- 0.68 ng/ml and 477.6 +/- 251.5 ng/ml, respectively. Serum levels of DHEA and DHEA-S in patients with acute and lymphoma-type ATL were significantly lower than those inpatients with chronic and smoldering-type ATL (P < 0.05). These data suggest that a decrease in serum levels of DHEA and DHEA-S may be associated with patients who have some clinical subtypes of ATL. Moreover, androgens may have a therapeutic role in patients with ATL, as administered in patients with hairy-cell leukemia. Because there is at present no curative chemotherapy for ATL, a trial combination of androgens and standard chemotherapy may be a reasonable therapeutic option in such patients.

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