Serum level of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) was measured by immunoradiometric assay in fifty two breast cancer patients and twenty nine healthy female volunteers. The results are as follows: 1) Although the serum SHBG concentration showed no significant difference between the breast cancer group and the healthy control group, the serum SHBG concentration in postmenopause was significantly higher in the breast cancer group (63.8 +/- 31.2nmol/ml/ml; mean +/- S.D.) than in the healthy control group (40.1 +/- 15.4nmol/ml). 2) Subsequently in the postmenopausal breast cancer group, the serum SHBG concentration was significantly higher in the estrogen receptor (ER)-negative cancer group (97.8 +/- 12.7nmol/ml) than in the ER-positive cancer group (55.8 +/- 32.1nol/ml). 3) No significant relationships were showed between the serum SHBG concentration and obesity or serum estradiol concentration in postmenopausal patients. 4) The serum SHBG concentration showed significant decrease 3 months after radical operation for breast cancer in postmenopausal patients. These results suggest the possibility of the SHBG synthesis in breast cancer tissue.
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