The long-term use of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for up to 36 months does not appear to be associated with cognitive decline in patients with prostate cancer, according to a study published in the journal Cancer.1

Although many men with prostate cancer require long-term ADT, how therapy beyond 1 year impacts cognitive function is unclear.

For the study, investigators enrolled 77 patients with nonmetastatic prostate cancer who initiated continuous ADT, 82 patients with prostate cancer not receiving ADT, and 82 healthy controls. All participants were age 50 years or older and were matched based on age and education.

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A total of 8 cognitive domains were evaluated using 14 neuropsychological tests administered on 5 occasions over a 36-month period.

After adjusting for age and education, results showed that ADT use was not associated with significant changes in any cognitive test over time compared with the healthy controls.

Another analysis further demonstrated no statistically significant worsening of cognitive function among patients receiving ADT vs healthy controls, regardless of ADT duration.

Of note, the study did not include men who were being treated with intermittent ADT, antiandrogen monotherapy, abiraterone, or enzalutamide.

“These results should be reassuring to clinicians and their patients with prostate cancer who require ADT to help control their disease,” the authors conclude.


1. Alibhai SMH, Timilshina N, Duff-Canning S, et al. Effects of long-term androgen deprivation therapy on cognitive function over 36 months in men with prostate cancer. Cancer. 2016 Sep 1. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30320. [Epub ahead of print]