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Volume 19, Issue 2 (March 2017) 19, 178–183; 10.4103/1008-682X.174856

Serum testosterone level predicts the effective time of androgen deprivation therapy in metastatic prostate cancer patients

Yue Wang, Bo Dai, Ding-Wei Ye

Department of Urology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai 20032; Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 20032, China

Correspondence: Dr. B Dai (bodai1978@126.com) or Dr. DW Ye (dwyeli@163.com)

Date of Submission 25-Jun-2015 Date of Decision 06-Sep-2015 Date of Acceptance 31-Dec-2015 Date of Web Publication 11-Mar-2016


Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the standard of care for patients with metastatic prostate cancer. However, whether serum testosterone levels, using a cut-off point of 50 ng dl−1 , are related to the effective time of ADT in newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients remains controversial. Moreover, recent studies have shown that some patients may benefit from the addition of upfront docetaxel chemotherapy. To date, no studies have been able to distinguish patients who will benefit from the combination of ADT and docetaxel chemotherapy. This study included 206 patients who were diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and showed progression to castrate-resistance prostate cancer (CRPC). Serum testosterone levels were measured prospectively after ADT for 1, 3, and 6 months. The endpoint was the time to CRPC. In univariate and multivariate analyses, testosterone levels <50 ng dl−1 were not associated with the effective time of ADT. Receiver operating characteristic and univariate analysis showed that testosterone levels of ≤25 ng dl−1 after the first month of ADT offered the best overall sensitivity and specificity for prediction of a longer time to CRPC (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.46; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.08-1.96; P = 0.013). Our results show that serum testosterone level of 25 ng dl−1 plays a prognostic role in prostate cancer patients receiving ADT. A testosterone value of 25 ng dl−1 after the first month of ADT can distinguish patients who benefit from ADT effectiveness for only a short time. These patients may need to receive ADT and concurrent docetaxel chemotherapy.

Keywords: androgen deprivation therapy; metastatic prostate cancer; testosterone

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