To study the influence of tumour mass on lipid metabolism, the lipoprotein pattern in untreated patients with newly diagnosed cancer of the prostate was examined. Total cholesterol levels were reduced in patients with evidence of metastasis (n=30) compared with those without metastasis (n = 73). Since the major fraction of serum cholesterol is contained in low-density lipoproteins (LDL), turnover of LDL was studied in detail in 8 patients compared with 12 age-matched healthy men. LDL were cleared faster in the 3 patients with metastatic disease than in the patients without metastasis and in controls, indicating faster catabolism of LDL. Thus in prostatic cancer an increased tumour burden is associated with increased elimination of LDL, which contributes to reduced serum cholesterol levels.
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