Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may promote prostate tumor growth, according to results from a recent study conducted in rats that was published in Endocrinology.
In the study, Maarten C. Bosland, PhD, and fellow authors from the University of Illinois in Chicago administered slow-release implants to a group of male rats while another group received standard testosterone implants.
They found that 50-71% of the male rats given standard testosterone therapy developed prostate tumors, compared to 10-18% who had developed prostate tumors in the slow-release therapy group.
“The potential of testosterone treatment to increase risk of prostate cancer has been raised repeatedly,” Dr. Bosland stated in an interview. “Conclusive data on its safety for the prostate are lacking, probably in part because large scale testosterone therapy is a recent phenomenon and prostate cancer is a notoriously slow developing disease.”
He encouraged more investment in long-term investigations in order to look into the cancer-related effects of TRT.
“Testosterone has become a multibillion dollar a year industry, and we don’t really know if these treatments do what marketers claim or if they are safe,” he concluded. “It is imperative that we dod the studies in humans that are needed to answer these questions.”
A study from a group of researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago suggests testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) such as implants and injections, can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer, which is known to affect 1 out of 7 men and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death.
While a number of risk factors are known such as older age, African-American ethnicity, family history, diet, and obesity, the link between testosterone and prostate cancer is still not established. While testosterone is a weak complete carcinogen, it is a strong tumor promoter in rats.