Androgen Deprivation Therapy Differentially Impacts Bone and Muscle in the Short Term in Physically Active Men With Prostate Cancer

Naim M. Maalouf, Avneesh Chhabra, Jason Zafereo, Ross Querry, Dwight A. Towler, Uma J. Thakur, Joseph Frankl, John R. Poindexter, Bayan Mogharrabi, May Xac, Orhan K. Öz, Craig D. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is a cornerstone of advanced prostate cancer (PCa) therapy. Its use is associated with a loss of bone mineral density (BMD) and a greater risk of falls and osteoporotic fractures. In this prospective cohort study, we examined the impact of ADT on muscle and bone strength in men initiating ADT for PCa. Participants were evaluated at three time points: immediately before (week 0), and 6 and 24 weeks after ADT initiation. Study measures included fasting blood levels (for markers of muscle and bone metabolic activity), MRI and QCT imaging (for muscle fat content, and bone density and architecture), and validated clinical tests of muscle strength and gait. Sixteen men completed all study visits. At baseline and throughout the study, participants exercised a median of four times/week, but still experienced weight gain (+2.0 kg at week 24 versus week 0, p = 0.004). Biochemically, all men sustained dramatic early and persistent reductions in sex hormones post-ADT, along with a progressive and significant increase in serum C-telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX, +84% at week 24 versus week 0). There was a trend for rise in serum sclerostin (p = 0.09) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) (p = 0.08), but no significant change in serum myostatin (p = 0.99). Volumetric BMD by QCT declined significantly at the femoral neck (−3.7% at week 24 versus week 0), particularly at the trabecular compartment. On MRI, there were no significant changes in thigh muscle fat fraction. On physical testing, men developed weaker grip strength, but experienced no worsening in lower extremity and lumbar spine muscle strength, or on functional tests of gait. In conclusion, in physically active men, ADT for 24 weeks results in a significant increase in bone resorption and reduction in BMD, but nonsignificant changes in thigh muscle quality (on imaging) or strength and gait (on functional testing).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10573
JournalJBMR Plus
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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