Changes in muscle, fat and bone mass after 36 weeks of maximal androgen blockade for prostate cancer



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Corrigenda Volume 102, Issue 3, 418, Article first published online: 17 July 2008

Nigel Spry, Radiation Oncology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Hospital Avenue, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia.



To assess the effects of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) on whole-body and regional muscle, fat and bone mass in men with prostate cancer without metastatic bone disease.


Seventy-two men aged 44–88 years underwent spine, hip and whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans at baseline and after 36 weeks of ADT. The change in whole-body and regional lean mass (LM), fat mass (FM), and bone mineral content and density (BMD) were determined. In addition, the prostate specific antigen (PSA), serum testosterone and haemoglobin levels were measured, and the level of physical activity and fatigue assessed using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-30.


The upper limb, lower limb, trunk and whole-body LM decreased by a mean (sem) of 5.6 (0.6)%, 3.7 (0.5)%, 1.4 (0.5)% and 2.4 (0.4)% (P < 0.01), respectively, while FM increased by 20.7 (3.3)%, 18.7 (2.7)%, 12.0 (2.5)% and 13.8 (2.3)% (P < 0.001). Hip, spine, whole-body and upper limb BMD decreased by 1.5 (0.5)%, 3.9 (0.4)%, 2.4 (0.3)% and 1.3 (0.3%) (P < 0.001), but not lower limb BMD. Serum testosterone, PSA and haemoglobin levels decreased by 93.3 (0.4)%, 98.2 (0.5)%, and 8.8 (0.9)% (P < 0.001), respectively. In addition, physical activity levels decreased and levels of fatigue increased.


After 36 weeks of ADT there was a significant decrease in whole-body and regional LM and bone mass, while whole-body and regional FM increased in older men with prostate cancer. Strategies to counteract changes in soft tissue and bone mass during ADT should be formulated to minimize the risk of sarcopenia, osteoporosis and obesity.