Hormonal regulation of appetite and body mass in patients with advanced prostate cancer treated with combined androgen blockade

J Endocrinol Invest. 2001 Jan;24(1):31-6. doi: 10.1007/BF03343805.


Cachexia is rarely observed in patients with advanced prostate cancer treated with combined androgen blockade. Androgens play an important role in the regulation of body mass composition and influence the secretion of leptin, the appetite regulating hormone. The aim of the study was to assess the influence of a combined treatment with nonsteroidal antiandrogen and LH-RH analogue on the hormonal regulation of appetite and changes in body mass in patients with advanced prostate cancer (Whitmore-Jewett stage D1 or D2). Eighteen patients with prostate cancer and 17 healthy subjects matched for age and body mass index were included. In all patients serum concentrations of leptin, neuropeptide Y (NPY), insulin, testosterone and estradiol were measured before and after four and twelve weeks of androgen blockade. Pretreatment serum leptin levels were similar in patients with prostate cancer and in the controls. In a multiple regression analysis only body mass index and testosterone significantly contributed to the variation of plasma leptin. During the treatment body mass and plasma leptin significantly increased while NPY decreased. The change of plasma NPY was significant only after 4 weeks of therapy. This study shows that the afferent regulation of leptin secretion is unchanged in advanced prostate cancer. Androgen ablation significantly increases body mass and influences secretion of appetite regulating hormones. Testosterone appears to play a significant role in the regulation of leptin secretion.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / physiopathology
  • Aged
  • Androgen Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Appetite / physiology*
  • Body Constitution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Flutamide / administration & dosage
  • Goserelin / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropeptide Y / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Goserelin
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Flutamide