Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Is ADT Protective Against SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Men With Prostate Cancer?

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020

Patients with cancer are at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infections. However, men with prostate cancer who received androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) may be partially protected from the infection, based on findings presented in the Annals of Oncology. According to Monica Montopoli, PhD, of the Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy, and colleagues, it may be worthwhile to consider ADT to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infections or complications in high-risk male population, although validation in additional larger cohorts of patients is needed.

In this study, the authors analyzed patient data of people with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections from 68 hospitals in Veneto, a region in northeastern Italy. As of April 1, 2020, a total of 9,280 patients were infected with the virus, including 4,532 men.

Of the patients identified, men developed more severe complications from infection, were more frequently hospitalized, and demonstrated worse clinical outcomes than women. Considering the total male population of Veneto (2.4 million men), the investigators noted that 0.2% of people without cancer and 0.3% of people with cancer tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2.

The patients with prostate cancer receiving ADT had significantly lower risks of infection than those who did not receive ADT (odds ratio = 4.05). Additionally, the authors observed a greater difference in risk of infection when comparing patients with prostate cancer receiving ADT and those diagnosed with any other type of cancer (odds ratio = 5.17).

“The evidence that [androgen receptors] regulates TMPRSS2 expression in non-prostatic tissues, including lung, may explain the increased susceptibility of men to develop SARS-CoV-2 severe infections,” the authors observed.

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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