Most PCa patients on ADT gain weight in first year

April 7, 2011

Nearly three-fourths of men who receive androgen deprivation therapy post-radical prostatectomy gain significant weight in the first year, putting on an average of 4.2 kg, according to a recent study.

Nearly three-fourths of men who receive androgen deprivation therapy post-radical prostatectomy gain significant weight in the first year, putting on an average of 4.2 kg, according to a recent study.

Researchers from several institutions studied the recorded weights of 132 men who underwent radical prostatectomy between 1988 and 2009 at four U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in California, Georgia, and North Carolina, before and after they received ADT. The majority of the men gained significant weight during the first year of therapy but did not put on any more weight afterwards.

"This rising use of ADT makes it even more important that we pay close attention to the side effects of the therapy, including weight gain, as obesity is linked with a number of chronic and potentially life-threatening health problems," said senior author Stephen J. Freedland, MD, of the Duke Prostate Center at Duke University School of Medicine and the Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Other key findings include the following:

  • Seventy percent of the men gained weight, 26% lost weight, and 4% stayed the same.
  • Data covering the year before ADT and the second year after ADT were available for 64% of the men. Their overall weight gain averaged 2.1 kg in the first year, with no change in the second year.
  • Weight gainers and losers did not differ in any demographic, clinical, or pathologic respects.

"A growing number of studies show that men receiving ADT undergo a shift in body mass composition, gaining weight by increasing body fat and losing bone density and lean muscle mass," said first author Howard Kim of Duke University School of Medicine. "The most notable finding of our study is that any significant weight gain tends to occur in the year after ADT therapy begins and then stabilizes after that. This has enabled us to provide a clearer picture, not only of how much weight patients can gain on ADT, but when any significant weight gain occurs."

Results from the study were published in BJU International (2011; 107:924-8).