Hormone Therapy In Prostate Cancer Treatment May Lead To Cognitive Decline

Armen Hareyan's picture

Prostate cancer patients receiving hormone deprivation therapy may experience cognitive decline later in life.

A team of researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City analysed 19 small studies examining hormone deprivation therapy, also known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). These researches include both animal and human trials.


Researchers found that from 47% to 69% men receiving hormone therapy experienced different forms and levels of cognitive decline. The most common impairment occurred in decision making skills, ability to recall and concentrate.

It is already known that ADT in prostate cancer patients can lead to numerous adverse side effects, such as 'hot flashes, osteoporosis, anemia, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and emotional distress.' Because of side effects, physicians where recommended hormone therapy only for advanced prostate cancer patients, but nowadays there are more and more early stage patients receiving the therapy and most of them have it for the rest of life.

Hormone deprivation therapy is known to be the most effective prostate cancer treatment. Therapy uses drugs like leuprolide and goserelin to achieve androgen depletion and to boost hormones like testosterone, which are highly effective in targeting prostate cancer cells.

Researchers suggest that physicians must keep an eye on prostate cancer patients receiving hormone deprivation therapy. They need to regularly scan brain to identify cognitive impairment as soon as possible. Researchers also call for more studies to see how seriously ADT can affect patients' brains.