Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) was not associated with a protective benefit against SARS-CoV-2 or an increased risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection in adults with prostate cancer, according to the results of a retrospective registry study presented at the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

“In this setting of an overall low prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, thus far, there is no strong evidence of a protective benefit of ADT,” said Daniel Kwon, MD, who presented the findings.

Preclinical data have suggested that the androgen receptor can modulate TMPRSS2 expression, and that ADT may protect patients from for SARS-CoV-2 infection and decrease the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether ADT affords protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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The investigators evaluated data from 2948 men with prostate cancer who underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing between February 1, 2020 and December 20, 2020 at 1 of 5 academic medical centers in the UC Health System. Of them, 444 received ADT. The association of SARS-CoV-2 infection and receipt of ADT (within 6 months of COVID-19 testing) was determined using a chi-square test.

Seventy-two percent of patients in the overall population were White, 7% were Black, 8% were Hispanic or Latino, 6% were Asian or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and 6% were of another but unspecified race. Race was unknown for 8% of the participants.

Two percent of the study population tested positive for SARS-CoV-2; among the men who received ADT, 1.6% received a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result. There was no significant difference in the positive result rate between ADT- and non-ADT-receiving men (odds ratio, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.34-1.67; P =.49). This rate remained similar when these data were stratified by race or ethnic group.

“No association between the use of ADT and SARS-CoV-2 infection was identified in this large, diverse population of men with prostate cancer,” Kwon concluded.

Disclosures: Some of the study authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry and/or the medical device industry. For a full list of disclosures, please refer to the original study.


Kwon D, Vashisht R, Borno H, et al. Androgen deprivation therapy and risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in men with prostate cancer: a University of California (UC) Health System registry study. Presented at: 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium; February 11-13, 2021. Abstract 37.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor