Time course of serum testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels after cessation of long-term luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist treatment in patients with prostate cancer

Prostate. 2006 Mar 1;66(4):439-44. doi: 10.1002/pros.20341.


Introduction: In order to elucidate the influence of hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonist therapy cessation on pituitary/testicular function and its clinical implications, we investigated prospectively hormonal (luteinizing hormone: LH; testosterone: T) responses in patients with prostate cancer who received long-term LH-RH 10 agonist therapy.

Patients and methods: A consecutive 32 patients who had received LH-RH agonist therapy over 24 months were enrolled. As a baseline, T and LH were measured at the time of LH-RH agonist therapy cessation, monthly for 3 months, and subsequently, every 3 months.

Results: The median duration of LH-RH agonist therapy was 30 months (24-87 months) with median follow-up duration of 24 months following cessation. All patients had castrated T levels and suppressed LH levels at baseline. Median duration of castrated T levels following cessation was 6 months. Median time to normalization of T levels was 24 months. LH levels returned to normal within 3 months in all cases. Patients who received androgen deprivation therapy for 30 months or longer required a longer time for recovery of T levels. Patients over 65 years of age showed a statistically significant longer time for recovery of T levels (P=0.0167).

Conclusions: Long-term LH-RH agonist therapy has remarkable effects on serum T level that last for a significant time after cessation, a fact that should be applied to the interpretation of both PSA and serum T levels after cessation of androgen deprivation therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / pharmacology*
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / agonists*
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / physiology
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary Gland / drug effects
  • Pituitary Gland / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Testis / drug effects
  • Testis / physiology
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Testosterone
  • Luteinizing Hormone