Hormone Therapy Negatively Impacts African American Men

A retrospective study analyzed the medical records at Brigham and Women's Hospital and found that African American men had a statistically significant decreased survival rate after receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).  In this study, the researchers evaluated men who had used ADT to shrink the size of their prostate in order to have brachytherapy (seeds).

Their findings indicated that African-American men who were treated with ADT had a 77 percent higher risk of death when compared to non-African American men, the causes of which were not due to prostate cancer.

"When African-American men were exposed to an average of only four months of hormone therapy, primarily used to make the prostate small enough for brachytherapy, they suffered from higher mortality rates due to causes other than prostate cancer than non-African American men," Konstantin Kovtun, MD, explained. "This leads us to believe that there may be something intrinsic to the biology of African-American men that predisposes them to this increased risk of death and that this deserves further study."

If you are African American you should give careful consideration to this finding.  Although this research only evaluated short-term ADT, it clearly raises very serious concerns for any ADT

This finding gives us further pause.  Along with the recent findings that African American men gain a significant benefit from Provenge, it seems to reinforce the concept that there are underlying biological differences in African American men when compared to their non-African American counterparts.

Konstantin A. Kovtun, Ming-Hui Chen, Michelle H. Braccioforte, Brian J. Moran, Anthony V. D'Amico. Race and mortality risk after radiation therapy in men treated with or without androgen-suppression therapy for favorable-risk prostate cancer. Cancer, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.30224

Joel T. Nowak, MA, MSW wrote this Post.  Joel is the CEO/Executive Director of Cancer ABCs.  He is a Cancer Thriver diagnosed with five primary cancers - Thyroid, Metastatic Prostate, Renal, Melanoma, and the rare cancer Appendiceal cancer.