Androgen deprivation therapy continues to be widely used for the treatment of prostate cancer despite the appearance of new-generation androgen-receptor targeting drugs after 2000. Androgen deprivation therapy can alleviate symptoms in patients with metastatic prostate cancer and might have a survival benefit in some patients, but it causes undesirable changes in lipid, glucose, muscle or bone metabolism. These metabolic changes could lead to new onset or worsening of diseases, such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, sarcopenia or fracture. Several studies examining the influence of androgen deprivation therapy in Japanese patients with prostate cancer also showed that metabolic changes, such as weight gain, dyslipidemia or fat accumulation, can occur as in patients in Western countries. Efforts to decrease these unfavorable changes and events are important. First, overuse of androgen deprivation therapy for localized or elderly prostate cancer patients should be reconsidered. Second, intermittent androgen deprivation therapy might be beneficial for selected patients who suffer from impaired quality of life as a result of continuous androgen deprivation therapy. Third, education and instruction, such as diet or exercise, to decrease metabolic changes before initiating androgen deprivation therapy is important, because metabolic changes are likely to occur in the early androgen deprivation therapy period. Fourth, routine monitoring of weight, laboratory data or bone mineral density during androgen deprivation therapy are required to avoid unfavorable events.
International journal of urology : official journal of the Japanese Urological Association. 2017 Oct 20 [Epub ahead of print]
Koji Mitsuzuka, Yoichi Arai
Department of Urology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.