Androgen deprivation therapy complications

Carolyn Anne Allan, Veronica Rose Collins, Mark Frydenberg, Robert I McLachlan, Kati Louise Matthiesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

35 Citations (Scopus)


Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is increasingly used to treat advanced prostate cancer and is also utilised as adjuvant or neo-adjuvant treatment for high-risk disease. The resulting suppression of endogenous testosterone production has deleterious effects on quality of life, including hot flushes, reduced mood and cognition and diminished sexual function. Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies show that ADT has adverse bone and cardiometabolic effects. The rate of bone loss is accelerated, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and subsequent fracture. Fat mass is increased and lean mass reduced, and adverse effects on lipid levels and insulin resistance are observed, the latter increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. ADT also appears to increase the risk of incident cardiovascular events, although whether it increases cardiovascular mortality is not certain from the observational evidence published to date. Until high-quality evidence is available to guide management, it is reasonable to consider men undergoing ADT to be at a higher risk of psychosexual dysfunction, osteoporotic fracture, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, especially when treated for extended periods of time and therefore subjected to profound and prolonged hypoandrogenism. Health professionals caring for men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer should be aware of the potential risks of ADT and ensure appropriate monitoring and clinical management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)T119 - T129
Number of pages11
JournalEndocrine-Related Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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