Concern about a long-term effect of the delivery of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for prostate cancer on serum testosterone levels remains unelucidated. We evaluated how IMRT for localized prostate cancer affects serum testosterone levels during a follow-up period of up to 10 years.
We retrospectively evaluated data from 182 patients with localized prostate cancer who underwent definitive IMRT alone between 2007 and 2014. Serum total testosterone (TT) levels were measured by blood draws between 6 AM and 11 AM before treatment and at every posttreatment follow-up for 10 years. Pretreatment values and each posttreatment testosterone value were compared using a Wilcoxon signed rank test. The data set was stratified into 4 groups based on the pretreatment testosterone (pre-TT) values using quartiles.
The median absolute or relative changes in TT levels from pretreatment were -0.42 ng/mL or -12.0% at 3 months after radiation therapy (P < .0001). Subsequently, TT levels gradually recovered to nearly the pretreatment levels 24 to 36 months after IMRT. When analyzed according to the pre-TT quartile, median TT levels initially decreased at the 3- to 12-month period in all the quartiles; however, median TT levels increased from the 18-month period in the first and second quartile groups, whereas they were maintained at less than the pretreatment levels in the third and the fourth quartile groups throughout the entire decade after radiation therapy. The proportion of patients with hypogonadal status, defined as TT levels <3.00 ng/mL, did not increase over time.
A transient and modest decrease of TT levels after IMRT spontaneously recovered to the pretreatment levels at the 24- to 36-month period except in patients in the higher quartile of pre-TT. This might have been partly owing to a variable sensitivity of individual testicular function to scattered radiation. Patients with lower pre-TT did not demonstrate a progressive overall rate of hypogonadism until 10 years after radiation therapy.
Advances in radiation oncology. 2021 Nov 17*** epublish ***
Yutaka Horiguchi, Fumio Tsukuda, Ayato Ogata, Kiichi Hagiwara, Noboru Sakamoto, Yukihiro Hama, Shoji Koga
Department of Urology, Edogawa Hospital, Tokyo, Japan., Department of Radiology, Edogawa Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.