Prostate cancer therapy increases risk of fractures and cardiovascular-related death

Apr 27, 2009

Prostate cancer patients who undergo therapy to decrease testosterone levels increase their risk of developing bone- and heart-related side effects compared to patients who do not take these medications, according to a new analysis. Published in the June 1, 2009 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that preventive measures and careful scrutiny of patients' health can keep men from experiencing these potentially serious consequences.

While medical treatments that decrease —called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)—are important and effective therapies for men with prostate cancer, they can cause a variety of side effects including skeletal and cardiovascular complications, sexual dysfunction, periodontal disease, and mood disorders.

Bone and heart complications are among the most serious side effects associated with ADT, but the actual risk have of developing these effects is unknown. Lockwood Taylor, MPH, of the University of Texas Health Science Center and colleagues conducted a study to assess this risk by analyzing all of the literature related to side effects from ADT published between 1996 and mid-2008. They found 14 studies (8 bone-related, 6 heart-related) that were suitable for analysis.

The researchers' review revealed that men treated with ADT for prostate cancer had an increased risk of and heart-related death, although the absolute risk for both was still low. For bone fractures, there was a 23 percent increased risk compared to prostate cancer patients who did not undergo the treatment. The absolute risk of fracture among ADT-exposed men was still only 7.2 per 100 person years. For heart-related death, the increased risk among ADT-exposed men was 17 percent higher compared to other prostate cancer patients. However, because the baseline risk is low, the increase translated to an additional one-to-two deaths per 1,000 men who received ADT. Two large studies also documented significant increases in diabetes risk associated with the therapy.

"While the absolute risks of fracture and cardiovascular mortality are low among men treated with androgen deprivation therapy, preventive treatments may further reduce the risk of these serious adverse outcomes related to androgen deprivation therapy," the authors wrote. They also noted that because some patients may benefit from this therapy more than others, physicians should consider each patient's overall health and prostate cancer status when weighing treatment options.

More information: "Review of Major Adverse Effects of Androgen-deprivation Therapy in Men With ." Lockwood G. Taylor, Steven E. Canfield, and Xianglin L. Du. CANCER; Published Online: April 27, 2009 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24283); Print Issue Date: June 1, 2009.

Source: American Cancer Society (news : web)

Explore further: Six percent of colorectal cancer found to be interval tumors

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study reveals inaccuracies in studies of cancer treatment

Apr 21, 2008

Certain biases may exist in observational studies that compare outcomes of different cancer therapies, making the results questionable. That is the conclusion of a new study published in the June 1, 2008 issue of CANCER, ...

Recommended for you

Unraveling the 'black ribbon' around lung cancer

3 hours ago

It's not uncommon these days to find a colored ribbon representing a disease. A pink ribbon is well known to signify breast cancer. But what color ribbon does one think of with lung cancer?

Survival hope for melanoma patients thanks to new vaccine

8 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that a new trial vaccine offers the most promising treatment to date for melanoma that has spread, with increased patient survival rates and improved ability ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Spate of Mideast virus infections raises concerns

A recent spate of infections from a frequently deadly Middle East virus is raising new worries about efforts to contain the illness, with infectious disease experts urging greater vigilance in combatting ...

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

A new nano-membrane made out of the 'super material' graphene is extremely light and breathable. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid filtration. The ...

There's something ancient in the icebox

Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything—vegetation, soil, and even the top layer of bedrock. So scientists were greatly surprised ...