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Benefits of ADT Against Risk of Heart Ailments

Androgen deprivation therapy may aggravate heart disease in patients over age 65, according to a new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. //

ADT is one of the most common treatments for prostate cancer.

The study results were based on data from CaPSURE, a national registry of men with prostate cancer. Although the findings need to be confirmed in clinical trials, the study authors state that oncologists should weigh the benefits of androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, against the risk of heart problems in older prostate cancer patients.

The researchers will present their study at the Prostate Cancer Symposium in Orlando, Fla., 1:30 pm on Saturday, Feb. 24. The symposium is sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and the Society of Urologic Oncology.

The goal of ADT is to block the level of circulating androgens (male hormones), which can fuel the growth of prostate cancers. "Androgen deprivation therapy is associated with elevated body mass index, increased body fat deposits and diabetes, all of which raise the risk of death from heart diseased," explains the study's lead author, Henry Tsai, MD, a resident physician at Dana-Farber, Brigham and Women's and the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program.

"Although our findings demonstrated that older men receiving this treatment may be at increased risk, even after taking into account other cardiovascular risk factors, a prospective clinical trial would be needed to confirm a cause-and-effect relationship."

Drawing on the CaPSURE database, Tsai and his colleagues compared the number of cardiac-related deaths among 735 men with localized prostate cancer who received ADT and among 2,901 men with the disease whose treatment did not include ADT.

After factoring in other known risks for cardiovascular disease (such as diabetes, hypertension, body mass ind
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