An inherited genetic change, HSD3B1 gene causes Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) to be less effective for treating metastatic prostate cancer. Physician-researcher Nima Sharifi, M.D. published this finding in the October, 2016 The Lancet Oncology.  While Androgen Deprivation Therapy is effective for many men with advanced stage prostate cancer, prostate tumors eventually become resistant to ADT because the tumors make their own androgens. 

“A simple blood test could allow us to personalize therapy by telling us which patients need to be treated more aggressively, such as with more intensive hormonal therapy,” said Dr. Sharifi. “On the contrary, patients with metastatic cancer who do not carry HSD3B1 may fare better with ADT alone.” 

Men are advised to ask for a blood test to discover if they carry the HSD3B1 gene, prior to beginning ADT.