Risk for SARS-CoV-2 Lower for Prostate Cancer Patients on ADT

Risk reduced fourfold with androgen-deprivation therapy versus other treatment for prostate cancer

doctor in a lab  with a blood tube labeled covid-19

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Among prostate cancer patients, those receiving androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) versus other treatments have a lower risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, according to a study published online May 6 in the Annals of Oncology.

Monica Montopoli, Ph.D., from the Università degli Studi di Padova in Italy, and colleagues extracted data for 9,280 patients (4,532 men) with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection from 68 hospitals in Veneto.

The researchers found that compared with women, male patients developed more severe complications, were more often hospitalized, and had a worse clinical outcome. Considering only the male population of Veneto (2.4 million men), 0.2 and 0.3 percent of noncancer and cancer patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, respectively (odds ratio for risk for infection, 1.79). Prostate cancer patients receiving ADT had a significantly lower risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection than those who did not receive ADT (odds ratio, 4.05). Comparing prostate cancer patients receiving ADT to patients with any other type of cancer, there was a greater difference (odds ratio, 5.17).

"I hope that our findings inspire other clinicians to carry out clinical trials using transient ADT in men infected with COVID-19," a coauthor said in a statement. "Although these data need to be further validated in additional large cohorts of patients with COVID-19, they provide an answer to the hypothesis that androgen levels can facilitate coronavirus infections and increase the severity of symptoms, as has been seen in male patients."

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