FRIDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A common prostate cancer
treatment called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is associated
with bone decay, according to a new study.
The therapy suppresses or blocks the production of male sex
hormones that contribute to the growth of prostate cancer.
Currently, about 600,000 prostate cancer patients in the United
States are being treated with ADT.
In the small 12-month study, Australian researchers examined 26
prostate cancer patients being treated with ADT. The investigators
found evidence that the men had "structural decay of cortical (hard
outer shell) and trabecular (spongy inner mesh) bone," lead study
authors Emma Hamilton and Dr. Mathis Grossmann, of the University
of Melbourne, explained in a news release from the Endocrine
"Sex steroid deficiency induced by ADT for prostate cancer results in microarchitectural decay. Bone fragility in these men may be more closely linked to testosterone than estradiol deficiency," Grossmann said.
For the study, the researchers used a relatively new technology
-- high resolution peripheral quantitative CT imaging -- that
enabled them to take "virtual bone biopsies."
"This technology may be a useful test in predicting fractures in patients, but further research is needed in identifying individuals at greatest fracture risk as well as optimal therapeutic strategies," the study authors noted.
The study is scheduled for publication in the December print
issue of the
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
prostate cancer treatment.