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Prostate Cancer Treatment Raises Heart Disease Mortality

Androgen deprivation therapy increases risk for those undergoing radical prostatectomy

THURSDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Using androgen deprivation to treat localized prostate cancer increases the risk of cardiovascular mortality in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy, according to the results of a study published online Oct. 9 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Henry K. Tsai, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a study of 4,892 localized prostate cancer patients, including 3,262 who were treated with radical prostatectomy and 1,630 treated with external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy or cryotherapy. After a median 3.8-year follow-up, an analysis was done to assess whether use of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) was associated with increased risk of death due to cardiovascular causes.

The researchers found both ADT use and advanced age were associated with an increased mortality in those treated with radical prostatectomy. Among patients 65 years or older treated with radical prostatectomy, the five-year cumulative incidence of cardiovascular death was 5.5 percent in those who received ADT and 2 percent in those who did not. The authors also saw an increased mortality rate associated with ADT in younger patients who had radical prostatectomies.

"The article by Tsai et al. has raised an interesting hypothesis, but patients and clinicians need better risk estimates for cardiovascular death associated with ADT use that are based on randomized trials rather than retrospective analysis," state the authors of an accompanying editorial.

Funding was provided by TAP Pharmaceutical Products, Inc.

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