Purpose: Groups have investigated time to testosterone recovery in patients who have undergone androgen deprivation therapy, usually by measuring androgen every 3 months, with varying results. To our knowledge this represents the largest study using monthly testosterone and dihydroxytestosterone measurement to evaluate the kinetics of androgen recovery following limited androgen deprivation therapy.
Materials and methods: Monthly serum androgen levels were analyzed following 2, 6-month cycles of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist therapy as part of a randomized, placebo controlled study of the role of thalidomide in delaying time to prostate specific androgen progression.
Results: By the Kaplan-Meier method the median time to testosterone normalization in cycles 1 vs 2 was 15.4 vs 18.3 weeks with similar dihydroxytestosterone recovery times. Neither on-study prostate specific antigen, Gleason score nor thalidomide treatment had a significant impact on time to testosterone normalization. However, in cycle 1 men with low baseline dihydroxytestosterone and those who were more than 67 years old had significantly longer time to T normalization on Cox model analysis. Additionally, in cycle 2 patients with prior local radiation therapy had longer time to testosterone normalization, although this was no longer significant on Cox model analysis. Cox model analysis in cycle 2 showed that low baseline dihydroxytestosterone and testosterone, low testosterone nadir and white race were associated with longer time to testosterone normalization.
Conclusions: Findings of delayed testosterone recovery may be useful for designing and analyzing clinical trials of limited androgen deprivation therapy and for estimating the duration of treatment associated side effects in patients undergoing limited androgen deprivation therapy.