Inherited variation in the androgen pathway is associated with the efficacy of androgen-deprivation therapy in men with prostate cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2008 Feb 20;26(6):842-7. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.13.6804.


Purpose: Androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) is the most common and effective systemic therapy for advanced prostate cancer. We hypothesized that germline genetic variation in the androgen axis would improve the efficacy of ADT.

Patients and methods: A cohort of 529 men with advanced prostate cancer treated with ADT was genotyped for 129 DNA polymorphisms distributed across 20 genes involved in androgen metabolism.

Results: Three polymorphisms in separate genes (CYP19A1, HSD3B1, and HSD17B4) were significantly (P < .01) associated with time to progression (TTP) during ADT, remaining so in multivariate analyses and after correcting for the number of hypotheses tested. Individuals carrying more than one of the polymorphisms associated with improved TTP demonstrated a better response to therapy than individuals carrying zero or one (P < .0001).

Conclusion: This report is the first to examine the influence of inherited variation in the androgen metabolic pathway on the efficacy of ADT, establishing the importance of pharmacogenomics on individual's response to this therapy. At least two potential clinical benefits may be realized from this study. The first is prognostic -genotyping patients at these loci may yield important information that could improve efficacy prediction. The second is therapeutic -these results shed light on the pathways that govern response to ADT. Drugs could be developed (or may already exist) to inhibit or augment these targets to improve ADT efficacy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Androgens / genetics*
  • Androgens / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / genetics*
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / pathology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Androgens
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen