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A Novel Liver-targeted Testosterone Therapy for Sarcopenia in Androgen Deprived Men With Prostate Cancer


Objective: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) reduces muscle and bone mass, increasing frailty in men with prostate cancer. The liver mediates the whole body anabolic effects of testosterone. Based on first-pass metabolism, liver-targeted testosterone treatment (LTTT) entails oral delivery of a small dose of testosterone that does not raise peripheral blood testosterone levels. LTTT reduces blood urea and stimulates protein anabolism in hypogonadal men and postmenopausal women. We investigated whether LTTT prevents loss of lean and bone mass during ADT. Method: A 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of testosterone 40 mg/day in 50 men. Primary outcome measures were lean mass and bone mineral content (BMC). Testosterone, urea and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) were monitored. Patients were withdrawn if PSA exceeded 4 ng/mL. Results: 42 patients completed the study. Mean (95% CI) testosterone rose during LTTT but not placebo treatment [ 2.2 (1.3-3.0) vs -0.7 (-1.5 to 0.2) nmol/L; P < 0.01]. Mean PSA level did not change significantly during either treatment. Blood urea fell [ -0.4 (-0.9 to -0.1) mmol/L] during LTTT but not placebo [ 0.05 (-0.8 to 0.9) mmol/L]. BMC [ 49 (5 to 93) g; P < 0.02] and lean mass [ 0.8 (-0.1 to 1.7) kg; P = 0.04) increased compared to placebo. Five patients on LTTT withdrew from increased PSA levels, all returning to baseline levels. Conclusion: LTTT shows promise as a simple therapy for preventing sarcopenia and bone loss during ADT. LTTT may induce reversible PSA rise in some patients. Further studies are required to optimize LTTT dose in ADT. LTTT has potential application in other catabolic states in men and women.

Type Journal
ISBN 2472-1972 (Electronic) 2472-1972 (Linking)
Authors Rhee, H.; Navaratnam, A.; Oleinikova, I.; Gilroy, D.; Scuderi, Y.; Heathcote, P.; Nguyen, T.; Wood, S.; Ho, K. K. Y.
Publisher Name Journal of the Endocrine Society
Published Date 2021-06-30
Published Volume 5
Published Issue 9
Published Pages bvab116
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1210/jendso/bvab116
URL link to publisher's version