Testosterone replacement therapy in patients with prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy

Alexander W. Pastuszak, Amy M. Pearlman, Win Shun Lai, Guilherme Godoy, Kumaran Sathyamoorthy, Joceline S. Liu, Brian J. Miles, Larry I. Lipshultz, Mohit Khera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Purpose: Testosterone replacement therapy in men with prostate cancer is controversial, with concern that testosterone can stimulate cancer growth. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of testosterone in hypogonadal men with prostate cancer treated with radical prostatectomy. Materials and Methods: We performed a review of 103 hypogonadal men with prostate cancer treated with testosterone after prostatectomy (treatment group) and 49 nonhypogonadal men with cancer treated with prostatectomy (reference group). There were 77 men with low/intermediate (nonhigh) risk cancer and 26 with high risk cancer included in the analysis. All men were treated with transdermal testosterone, and serum hormone, hemoglobin, hematocrit and prostate specific antigen were evaluated for more than 36 months. Results: Median (IQR) patient age in the treatment group was 61.0 years (55.0-67.0), and initial laboratory results included testosterone 261.0 ng/dl (213.0-302.0), prostate specific antigen 0.004 ng/ml (0.002-0.007), hemoglobin 14.7 gm/dl (13.3-15.5) and hematocrit 45.2% (40.4-46.1). Median followup was 27.5 months, at which time a significant increase in testosterone was observed in the treatment group. A significant increase in prostate specific antigen was observed in the high risk and nonhigh risk treatment groups with no increase in the reference group. Overall 4 and 8 cases of cancer recurrence were observed in treatment and reference groups, respectively. Conclusions: Thus, testosterone therapy is effective and, while followed by an increase in prostate specific antigen, does not appear to increase cancer recurrence rates, even in men with high risk prostate cancer. However, given the retrospective nature of this and prior studies, testosterone therapy in men with history of prostate cancer should be performed with a vigorous surveillance protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-644
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • hormone replacement therapy
  • hypogonadism
  • prostatectomy
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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