Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer (PCa) may reduce the risk of developing autoimmune diseases, according to a new report.

In a study of men with PCa identified using the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan, Ren-Jun Hsu, MD, PhD, of the National Defense Medical Center in Taiwan, and colleagues matched 5590 ADT users with 5590 non-ADT users by propensity score. ADT users received gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, oral antiandrogens, or estrogens. ADT recipients younger than 40 years or with a history of autoimmune disease were excluded from analyses.

Patients who received ADT had a significant 38% decreased risk for autoimmune disease compared with those who did not, in adjusted analyses, investigators reported in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. ADT duration of less than 12 months and 12 months or more were associated with a significant 33% and 39% lower risk for autoimmune disease, respectively. ADT use was associated with a significant 55%, 50%, and 48% decreased risk of Graves disease, uveitis, and psoriasis, respectively.

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“These novel findings provide a potential role for androgen deprivation therapy in the modification of inflammation and autoimmunity in Asian patients with prostate cancer,” Dr Hsu and the team concluded.

The database lacked laboratory data, such as inflammatory markers, as well as family history information. Based on previous research, the investigators hypothesized that ADT reduces T helper cell response and several inflammatory cytokines implicated in autoimmune disease.

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Liu JM, Yu CP, Chuang HC, et al. Androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer and the risk of autoimmune diseases. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. DOI:10.1038/s41391-019-0130-9