Marked hyperglycemia after androgen-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer and usefulness of pioglitazone for its treatment

Metabolism. 2005 Jan;54(1):55-9. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2004.07.010.


Here we demonstrate 2 patients who showed marked hyperglycemia after androgen-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer and the efficacy of the thiazolidinedione pioglitazone on their glycemic control. Case 1 was a 61-year-old man diagnosed with prostate cancer who had type 2 diabetes mellitus for 7 years. His glycemic control had been good for the previous 5 years because of diet therapy and acarbose administration. He was given the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist leuprolide acetate and the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide for the treatment of prostate cancer. After the second injection of leuprolide acetate, fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels were found to be markedly elevated (22.8 mmol/L and 10.5%, respectively). Case 2 was an 81-year-old man whose fasting glucose and HbA1c had been normal 10 months ago. He was injected with leuprolide acetate for the treatment of prostate cancer. Six months after starting the leuprolide treatment, the patient complained of thirst and weight loss and was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus with a fasting glucose of 19.4 mmol/L and HbA1c of 9.9%. The correct homeostasis model assessment evaluation indexes for pancreatic beta-cell function (HOMA-%beta )A and for insulin sensitivity (HOMA-%S) were reduced in these 2 patients compared with control men. Their serum testosterone and 17beta -estradiol concentrations were depressed. After improvement of hyperglycemia by insulin treatment, their glycemic control remained good after treatment with pioglitazone without use of insulin. The values of HOMA-%beta and HOMA-%S increased to control ranges. Insulin resistance after the androgen-deprivation therapy might lead to marked hyperglycemia in these patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Androgen Receptor Antagonists*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiopathology
  • Leuprolide / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pioglitazone
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Thiazolidinediones / therapeutic use*


  • Androgen Receptor Antagonists
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Leuprolide
  • Pioglitazone