Testosterone Responders to Continuous Androgen Deprivation Therapy Show Considerable Variations in Testosterone Levels on Followup: Implications for Clinical Practice

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Abstract

Purpose

We determined whether men on continuous androgen deprivation therapy who achieve testosterone less than 0.7 nmol/l demonstrate subsequent testosterone elevations during followup and whether such events predict worse oncologic outcomes.

Materials and Methods

We evaluated a random, retrospective sample of 514 patients with prostate cancer treated with continuous androgen deprivation therapy in whom serum testosterone was less than 0.7 nmol/l at University Health Network between 2007 and 2016. Patients were followed from the date of the first testosterone measurement of less than 0.7 nmol/l to progression to castrate resistance, death or study period end. Study outcomes were the development of testosterone elevations greater than 0.7, greater than 1.1 and greater than 1.7 nmol/l, and progression to a castrate resistant state. Survival curves were constructed to determine the rate of testosterone elevations. Multivariate Cox regression analysis was done to assess whether elevations predicted progression to castrate resistance.

Results

Median patient age was 74 years and median followup was 20.3 months. Within 5 years of followup 82%, 45% and 18% of patients had subsequent testosterone levels greater than 0.7, greater than 1.1 and greater than 1.7 nmol/l, respectively. In 96% to 100% of these patients levels less than 0.7 nmol/l were subsequently reestablished within 5 years. No patient baseline characteristic was associated with elevations and elevations were not a significant predictor of progression to a castrate resistant state.

Conclusions

Men on continuous androgen deprivation therapy in whom initial testosterone is less than 0.7 nmol/l frequently show subsequent elevations in serum testosterone. Such a development should not trigger an immediate response from physicians as these events are prognostically insignificant with regard to oncologic outcomes. Levels are eventually reestablished at less than 0.7 nmol/l.

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