Seventy per cent of men who received androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) after surgery to remove their prostate gland gained significant weight in the first year, putting on an average of 4.2kg, according to a paper in the March issue of the urology journal BJUI.
Researchers studied the recorded weights of 132 men who underwent radical prostatectomy between 1988 and 2009 at four US Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in California, Georgia and North Carolina, before and after they received ADT.
This showed that the majority of the men gained significant weight during the first year of therapy, but did not put on any more weight after that.
"ADT is a hormone therapy that deprives the patient's body of androgens, such as testosterone, which have been shown to stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells" explains Dr Stephen J Freedland, from the Duke Prostate Center at Duke University School of Medicine and the Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
"Having been established as the mainstay treatment for recurrent or secondary prostate cancer, ADT is now being increasingly used to treat localised disease.
"This rising use of ADT makes it even more important that we pay close attention to the side-effects of the therapy, including weight gain, as obesity is linked with a number of chronic and potentially life-threatening health problems."
Dr Freedland teamed up with colleagues from four other US states to carry out the study, using data from the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital database. Patients were included if there was sufficient information to track their weight before and after the use of ADT.
The average age of the men included in the study was 66 years, 50 per cent were white, 42 per cent were black and eight per cent were from other races. Their average Body Mass Index before starting ADT was 29. The men's weight was measured a median of 33 days before and 363 days
|Contact: Annette Whibley|