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Testosterone Recovery Improves Quality of Life After Prostate Cancer

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A phase 3 trial found that testosterone recovery after androgen deprivation therapy leads to better quality of life following high-risk prostate cancer.

Tablet with the chemical formula of testosterone | Image credit: © Zerbor - © Stock.adobe.com

Patients treated for prostate cancer tended to have better quality of life after undergoing testosterone recovery compared to those who did not.

Patients who were cured of high-risk prostate cancer had a better quality of life after testosterone recovery following treatment with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), according to results from a phase 3 trial.

A poster presentation from the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium compared quality of life to testosterone recovery after receiving ADT in patients who were cured of high-risk prostate cancer.

According to the data from the presentation, 630 patients with high-risk prostate cancer in the trial were randomly assigned to two groups, in which they either received pelvic and prostate radiotherapy with 36 months of ADT or pelvic and prostate radiotherapy with 18 months of ADT.

ADT is a type of treatment that is used to suppress or prevent the production of male hormones. Forms of treatment may include taking female sex hormones or taking a type of drug called antiandrogens, according to the National Cancer Institute.

In the study, the researchers noted that 361 patients were excluded from the study and the analysis based on the results. Of the patients who were not included in the analysis, 63 did not receive exactly 18 or 36 months of ADT and 15 did not survive more than a year.

Other reasons the researchers excluded some patients were because 55 had no serum testosterone measured at baseline or during follow-up, 105 patients had a biochemical failure, 92 had evidence of metastatic/recurrent disease and 31 did not answer the quality-of-life questionnaire, according to the abstract published alongside the poster.

LEARN MORE: Consider Complications When Choosing a Prostate Cancer Treatment

Results from the remaining 269 patients in the study were analyzed, with a median follow-up time was 14 years. They also established that 140 of 269 patients (52%) recovered serum testosterone to a normal level, with 94 patients from the 18 months of ADT group and 46 patients from the 36 months of ADT group.

According to the poster, the median recovery time for patients who were able to regain a normal level of testosterone was three years for patients in the 18 months of ADT group and five years in the 36 months of ADT group.

When the study’s researchers compared the quality-of-life questionnaires between patients who had testosterone recovery and patients who did not recover, they found that patients who recovered had better quality of life.

Of note, the researchers found that responses from patients who recovered and had better quality of life emphasized topics including: physical, role, emotional, pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, trouble sleeping, diarrhea and financial difficulties.

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The poster detailed the quality-of-life questionnaire used in the study, which asked patients whether they were constipated, had diarrhea, had difficulty concentrating, along with feelings of tiredness, tenseness, irritability, depression and worriedness.

Other questions asked whether patients had difficulty remembering things and had pain interfere with daily activities. Another section asked if the patient’s condition or medical treatment affected their social and family life, and whether they experienced any financial difficulties regarding their condition or treatments, according to the poster.

According to American Cancer Society, 288,300 new cases of prostate cancer in America were estimated for 2023. The organization also states that about 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer over a lifetime and that this cancer type is more likely to develop in people who are older and are of non-Hispanic Black descent.

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