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Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2002;21(2):159-66.

Osteoporosis and other adverse body composition changes during androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Osteoporosis and other body composition changes are important complications of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer. Bilateral orchiectomy and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist treatment decrease bone mineral density and increase fracture risk. Other factors including diet and lifestyle may contribute tobone loss in men with prostate cancer. Estrogens play an important role in male bone metabolism. Androgen deprivation therapy with estrogens probably causes less bone loss than bilateral orchiectomy or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist treatment. Bicalutamide monotherapy increases serum estrogen levels and may also spare bone. Lifestyle modification including smoking cessation, moderation of alcohol use, and regular weight bearing exercise are recommended to decrease treatment-related bone loss. Supplemental calcium and vitamin D are also recommended. Pamidronate (Aredia), an intravenous bisphosphonate, prevents bone loss during ADT. Other bisphosphonates are probably effective but have not been studied in hypogonadal men. Androgen deprivation therapy increases fat mass and decreases muscle mass. These body composition changes may contribute to treatment-related decreases in physical capacity and quality of life.

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