It was reported in the October 17th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute by lead author Dr. Henry K. Tsai, from the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program in Boston, that the use of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) appears to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease among men who undergo radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer, Dr. Tsai assessed the risks of androgen deprivation therapy in 3,262 men who underwent radical prostatectomy and 1,630 treated with radiotherapy or other localized treatment, with an average follow-up period was 3.8 years.

Shockingly, the researchers found that ADT increased the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 2.6-fold!

“Treatment with androgen deprivation therapy can be beneficial in patients with unfavorable prostate cancer. However, clinicians should carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of androgen deprivation therapy, and consider a cardiovascular evaluation for their patients prior to initiating androgen deprivation therapy,” Tsai advised.
He did go on to recommend that additional studies need to be done to confirm the associations among ADT, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. “Methods of reducing the potentially negative side effects of androgen deprivation therapy should be explored,” he added.

Those of us who are on ADT or looking to begin it should be evaluated by a cardiologist so that the risks and potential rewards of ADT can be evaluated.

Joel T. Nowak MA, MSW