Androgen deprivation therapy is associated with declines in self-reported physical functioning and upper body muscle strength as well as worse lower body muscle strength in patients with prostate cancer compared with matched controls, according to a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer.1
For the study, researchers enrolled 62 patients with prostate cancer who were scheduled to begin androgen deprivation therapy. Participants were evaluated within 20 days of initiating androgen deprivation therapy and 6 and 12 months later. Researchers also assessed 86 patients with prostate cancer as controls, who underwent prostatectomy only.
Results showed that, as expected, self-reported physical function and upper body muscle strength were reduced in recipients of androgen deprivation therapy, while physical function and muscle strength remained stable in cancer controls. Surprisingly, lower body muscle strength improved in prostate cancer controls while remaining stable in androgen deprivation therapy recipients.
Researchers found that higher Gleason scores, more medical comorbidities, and less exercise at baseline predicted larger reductions in physical functioning among androgen deprivation therapy recipients.
“These findings should be included in patient education regarding the risks and benefits of [androgen deprivation therapy],” the authors conclude. “Findings also underscore the importance of conducting research on ways to prevent or reverse declines in physical functioning in this patient population.”
1. Gonzalez BD, Jim HSL, Small BJ, et al. Changes in physical functioning and muscle strength in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer: a controlled comparison [published online ahead of print November 13, 2015]. Supp Care Cancer. doi:10.1007/s00520-015-3016-y.