Testosterone therapy discounted for prostate cancer
Testosterone therapy, also known as androgen deprivation therapy, may not be a reliable treatment for early prostate cancer, according to a new analysis by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, concluded that the side effects of the hormone therapy outweigh the minimal benefits that have been observed.
This kind of therapy has been used as an early prostate cancer treatment for decades. The drugs reduce testosterone production, but have been linked to serious side effects, such as diabetes, bone loss and impotence.
Over a 15-year period, researchers monitored 66,700 men with early prostate cancer. All were 66 or older. The scientists found that men who underwent testosterone therapy did not live longer, on average, than men who did not get the therapy treatment. They concluded that testosterone therapy for early prostate cancer does not increase long-term survival rates.
However, the study did say this therapy shows positive results for late-stage prostate cancer patients when combined with radiation or other treatments by slowing the growth of the cancer and reducing the size of the tumor.