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This article is the author’s final published version in BJU International, Volume 128, Issue 3, September 2021, Pages 366 - 373.

The published version is available at Copyright © Marshall et al.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether bipolar androgen therapy (BAT), involving rapid cyclic administration of high-dose testosterone, as a novel treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) promotes improvements in body composition and associated improvements in lipid profiles and quality of life.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Men from two completed trials with computed tomography imaging at baseline and after three cycles of BAT were included. Cross-sectional areas of psoas muscle, visceral and subcutaneous fat were measured at the L3 vertebral level. Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Fatigue questionnaire and 36-item short-form health survey were used to assess quality of life.

RESULTS: The 60 included patients lost a mean (sd) of 7.8 (8.2)% of subcutaneous fat, 9.8 (18.2)% of visceral fat, and gained 12.2 (6.7)% muscle mass. Changes in subcutaneous and visceral fat were positively correlated with each other (Spearman's correlation coefficient 0.58, 95% confidence interval 0.35-0.71) independent of the effects of age, body mass index, and duration of androgen-deprivation therapy. Energy, physical function, and measures of limitations due to physical health were all significantly improved at 3 months. The improvements in body composition were not correlated with decreases in lipid levels or observed improvements in quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, BAT was associated with significant improvements in body composition, lipid parameters, and quality of life. This has promising implications for the long-term health of men with mCRPC.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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