Prostate cancer (PCa) is the commonest non-cutaneous malignancy worldwide and the second cause of cancer death among males in the USA. Approval of the new androgen receptor axis-targeted (ARAT) agents (abiraterone acetate, enzalutamide, apalutamide, and darolutamide) has altered the course of advanced PCa. We aimed to assess the endocrine and metabolic adverse events associated with treatment using ARAT compounds.
We searched the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Scopus databases from database inception to August 2020. We included randomized controlled trials reporting the endocrine and metabolic side effects of ARAT agents compared to each other or to placebo.
Although metastatic PCa remains incurable, ARAT medications combined with androgen deprivation therapy improve overall metastasis-free and progression-free survival in metastatic hormone-sensitive PCa, non-metastatic castration-resistant PCa, and metastatic castration-resistant PCa patients. This benefit comes at the cost of certain endocrine and metabolic consequences. Treatment with abiraterone acetate induces mineralocorticoid excess, hypokalemia, hypertension, elevated liver function tests, insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia. Enzalutamide may induce or worsen hypertension and increase the risk of falls and fractures in elderly patients, while common endocrine adverse events of apalutamide include hypothyroidism, hypertension, and skin rash. On the other hand, darolutamide seems to have a somewhat safer endocrine and metabolic profile.
Treatment of advanced PCa should be personalized, with administration of a combination of androgen deprivation therapy, ARAT agents, and chemotherapy being based on the patient’s safety profile and the risk of side effects.