Effect of testosterone administration to men with prostate cancer is unpredictable: A word of caution and suggestions for a registry - Abstract

Centre for Applied Urological Research, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.


What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? Very little is known on the effect of T in men with untreated PCa. There are only two small series (including the present one) available that comprise less than 25 men with PCs receiving TTh. It raises a warning that testosterone administration to men with PCa is not always safe, that current precautions should be maintained, and that only an international registry would provide prompt answers to these issues. To assess the evidence for the concept that the androgen receptor of prostate cancer (PCa) cells becomes saturated when testosterone values exceed castrate levels, so that testosterone administration in hypogonadal men with untreated PCa does not stimulate tumour growth. To propose basic criteria for administration of testosterone to untreated patients with PCa and, as this is a rare clinical situation, to encourage the establishment of an international registry for these patients. Men with a diagnosis of PCa and symptomatic testosterone deficiency received testosterone therapy (TTh). Patients were assessed quarterly. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) velocity was used as the criterion to discontinue therapy and a return to nadir PSA levels allowed re-initiation of testosterone supplementation. The responses to testosterone supplementation were varied according to each individual and were unpredictable. While some men showed little change after years of treatment, others exhibited a rapid and significant increase in PSA levels. In others, the use of intermittent therapy resulted in synchronous changes in PSA levels. Interruption of TTh invariably translated into a decrease in PSA to pre-therapy levels. Available evidence regarding the effect of testosterone administration to hypogonadal men with untreated PCa is too limited to be considered reliable. In addition, the response to this treatment appears to be varied and unpredictable. Hypogonadism associated with untreated PCa is not common, therefore, we propose the establishment of an international registry as the quickest way to establish the basic parameters for consideration of TTh in this situation and recommendations for follow-up. Until credible evidence becomes available, the current restrictions regarding the administration of testosterone to men with PCa should remain in place.

Written by:
Morales A.   Are you the author?

Reference: BJU Int. 2011 May;107(9):1369-73.
doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10193.x

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21518230

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