Osteoporosis can be prevented in prostate cancer patients who are undergoing androgen deprivation therapy by administering dosages of diethylstilbesterol. The researchers at the New York Cornell Medical Center say this non steroidal synthetic oestrogen should be considered as a monotherapy in men who require long-term antiandrogen therapy.
Over 18 months the researchers evaluated 54 patients with clinically localised prostate cancer and 24 with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Those with prostate cancer were either treated with external beam radiotherapy without androgen deprivation or started on androgen deprivation therapy.
Serum testosterone and oestradiol, along with urinary collagen type I cross-linked N-telopeptides, were analysed at follow-up. Three separate morning urine samples on three separate months were collected from each patient and analysed for N-telopeptides.
Patients on androgen deprivation therapy who were not treated with diethylstilbesterol had a higher level of urinary creatinine than patients treated with the synthetic oestrogen. Patients on deithylstilbesterol did not have any higher levels of bone breakdown than patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia or those who never received any androgen deprivation. Researches said the treatment was safe and efficacious.