Androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, is a known prostate cancer treatment, but has recently been linked to bone decay, new findings at the University of Melbourne (Australia) explain.
The study, published in the online Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism was performed by doctors and authors alike. Over the course of 12 months, 26 men with a mean age of 70 years who had non-metatastic prostate cancer were evaluated as they received androgen deprivation therapy. Researchers logged each person’s sexual hormone levels and bone density several times each day.
Nearly 600,000 men are being treated for prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in men, using androgen deprivation therapy to block male hormones.
Some studies have alluded to a bone density reduction due to ADT therapy, but no known studies have evaluated the causes of this change.
For this study, researchers tried a new technology to determine why structural changes take place during ADT. Using the new technology, called virtual bone biopsy, researchers discovered a link between ADT and the decay in both cortical bone and trabecular bone. Cortical bone is hard and considered the “shell” of the bone. Trabecular bone is “spongy” and inside the bone.
Using the new “virtual bone biopsy” technology, which creates a 3-dimensional image using scans of the bone, experts could effectively analyze bones of patients using non-invasive methods.
Experts explain how this new technology may be beneficial in preventing bone fractures based on predictions using image scans.
Using this study, researchers concluded men using ADT become deficient in sexual hormones and also notice bone decay at a micro-architectural level.