Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentrations in hypogonadal men during 6 years of transdermal testosterone treatment



What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

  • Hypogonadism affects an estimated 2–4 million men in the USA, but only 5% receive treatment. Testosterone replacement therapy reduces the effects of testosterone deficiency on sexual function, mood and energy in hypogonadal patients. Long-term hypogonadism management requires testosterone treatment to restore serum concentrations of testosterone and its active metabolites, within physiological ranges; a testosterone preparation that achieves physiological plasma concentrations without supra-physiological escape is a preferred option. A previous 1-year study European clinical study showed the efficacy and safety of a transdermal testosterone patch (Testopatch®).
  • The present study shows the long-term (6-year) safety and efficacy of Testopatch in patients with primary or secondary hypogonadism. We show that, over the long-term, Testopatch was associated with no relevant changes in PSA concentration and PSA velocity, or any significant prostate risks (there were no cases of prostate cancer).


  • To assess the change in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentrations in patients with primary or secondary hypogonadism, receiving transdermal testosterone.

Patients and Methods

  • This was an interventional, 6-year study, conducted in Urology and Endocrinology centres in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.
  • Participants were primary (48%) or secondary (52%) hypogonadal patients who received two 60 cm2 testosterone patches (Testopatch®), delivering 4.8 mg of testosterone per day, applied every 2 days.
  • During treatment, total testosterone (TT), dihydrotestosterone, oestradiol and, PSA concentrations were measured in a centralised laboratory every 3 months during the first year, and every 6 months thereafter.


  • In all, 200 patients [mean (sd) age 41.0 (12.5) years, body weight 82.5 (13.7) kg, height 177.2 (9.3) cm, body mass index 26.2 (3.4) kg/m2] were treated with transdermal testosterone patches.
  • In all, 161 patients completed the 1-year study and 115 entered into a 5-year study extension; 51 patients completed the sixth year of the study.
  • The mean baseline concentrations of TT and PSA were 1.4 ng/mL and 0.47 ng/mL, respectively; TT serum concentrations >3 ng/mL were achieved in 85% of patients and fluctuated between 4.4 and 6.0 ng/mL.
  • At each successive 6-month time point, mean the PSA values were 0.60, 0.67, 0.76, 0.70, 0.61, 0.68, 0.64, 0.71, 0.75, 0.74, 1.01, 0.78, 0.80 ng/mL, respectively. The mean PSA velocity was negligible (0.00–0.03 ng/mL/year) from 30 months to the end of the trial, except for a value of 0.08 at 60 months. Seven patients had a PSA concentration of >4 ng/mL due to a sharp PSA increase. Six of these patients had prostatitis and PSA concentrations returned to previous levels with appropriate treatment. No prostate cancer was reported during the trial.


  • These data support a strong safety profile for Testopatch, even at the highest registered dosage.