(HealthDay News) — Testosterone replacement is associated with an improvement in body composition among younger male cancer survivors with low-normal morning total serum testosterone, according to a study published online in PLOS Medicine.

Jennifer S. Walsh, MBChB, PhD, from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomly assigned (1:1) 136 male survivors of testicular cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia (aged 25 to 50 years) to receive either testosterone (Tostran 2% gel) or placebo for 26 weeks. Participants all had morning total serum testosterone of 7 to 12 nmol/L and were matched for body mass index.

The researchers found that at the end of the trial, testosterone treatment was associated with decreased trunk fat mass (−0.9 kg; 95% confidence interval, −1.6 to −0.3; P=0.0073), decreased whole-body fat mass (−1.8 kg; 95% confidence interval, −2.9 to −0.7; P=0.0016), and increased lean body mass (1.5 kg; 95% confidence interval 0.9 to 2.1; P<0.001) compared with placebo. The greatest decrease in fat mass was seen in patients with a high truncal fat mass at baseline. No association was seen between treatment effect and physical function or any other quality of life scores.

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“The results of this study have significant benefits alongside improvements in body composition, potentially offsetting the risk of increased mortality from heart disease,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies.


Walsh JS, Marshall H, Smith IL, et al. Testosterone replacement in young male cancer survivors: A 6-month double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial. PLOS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002960