Infectious mononucleosis, other infections and prostate-specific antigen concentration as a marker of prostate involvement during infection

Siobhan Sutcliffe, Remington L. Nevin, Ratna Pakpahan, Debra J. Elliott, Marvin E. Langston, Angelo M. De Marzo, Charlotte A. Gaydos, William B. Isaacs, William G. Nelson, Lori J. Sokoll, Patrick C. Walsh, Jonathan M. Zenilman, Steven B. Cersovsky, Elizabeth A. Platz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Although Epstein-Barr virus has been detected in prostate tissue, no associations have been observed with prostate cancer in the few studies conducted to date. One possible reason for these null findings may be use of cumulative exposure measures that do not inform the timing of infection, i.e., childhood versus adolescence/early adulthood when infection is more likely to manifest as infectious mononucleosis (IM). We sought to determine the influence of young adult-onset IM on the prostate by measuring prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as a marker of prostate inflammation/damage among U.S. military members. We defined IM cases as men diagnosed with IM from 1998 to 2003 (n = 55) and controls as men without an IM diagnosis (n = 255). We selected two archived serum specimens for each participant, the first collected after diagnosis for cases and one randomly selected from 1998 to 2003 for controls (index), as well as the preceding specimen (preindex). PSA was measured in each specimen. To explore the specificity of our findings for prostate as opposed to systemic inflammation, we performed a post hoc comparison of other infectious disease cases without genitourinary involvement (n = 90) and controls (n = 220). We found that IM cases were more likely to have a large PSA rise than controls (≥20 ng/mL: 19.7% versus 8.8%, p = 0.027; ≥40% rise: 25.7% versus 9.4%, p = 0.0021), as were other infectious disease cases (25.7% versus 14.0%, p = 0.020; 27.7% versus 18.0%, p = 0.092). These findings suggest that, in addition to rising because of prostate infection, PSA may also rise because of systemic inflammation, which could have implications for PSA interpretation in older men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2221-2230
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • epidemiology
  • infection
  • infectious mononucleosis
  • prostate cancer
  • prostate-specific antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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