Low testosterone at first prostate-specific antigen failure and assessment of risk of death in men with unfavorable-risk prostate cancer treated on prospective clinical trials

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BACKGROUND: Low testosterone at the time of diagnosis of prostate cancer has been associated with a worse prognosis. Whether this is true and how to define the best treatment approach at the time of first prostate-specific antigen (PSA) failure to the authors' knowledge has not been elucidated to date and was studied herein. METHODS: Between 1995 and 2001, a total of 58 men with unfavorable-risk PC who were treated on clinical trials with radiotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) had available testosterone levels at the time of PSA failure. Cox and Fine and Gray regressions were performed to ascertain whether low versus normal testosterone was associated with the risk of PC-specific mortality, other-cause mortality, and all-cause mortality adjusting for age, salvage ADT, and known PC prognostic factors. RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 6.68 years after PSA failure, 31 men (53.4%) had died; 10 of PC (32.3%), of which 8 of 11 (72.7%) versus 2 of 47 (4.3%) deaths occurred in men with low versus normal testosterone at the time of PSA failure, respectively. A significant increase in the risk of all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 2.54; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.04-6.21 [P =.04]) and PC-specific mortality (AHR, 13.71; 95% CI, 2.4-78.16 [P =.003]), with a reciprocal trend toward a decreased risk of other-cause mortality (AHR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.02-1.55 [P =.12]) was observed in men with low versus normal testosterone. CONCLUSIONS: Low, but not necessarily castrate, testosterone levels at the time of PSA failure confer a very poor prognosis. These observations provide evidence to support testosterone testing at the time of PSA failure. Given prolonged survival when abiraterone or docetaxel is added to ADT in men with castrate-sensitive metastatic PC and possibly localized high-risk PC provides a rationale supporting their use with ADT in men with low testosterone in the setting of a phase 2 trial. Cancer 2018;124:1383-90. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

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