Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Testosterone Therapy Doesn't Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Key clinical point: Limited testosterone therapy (TT) exposure does not increase risk of prostate cancer (PCa) short-term.

Major finding: Inverse associations between TT and PCa were observed in a majority of subgroup analyses, although in both comparisons estimates generally attenuated with increasing time following initial exposure.

Study details: Men aged ≥30 years who were new users of TT during 2007-2015 and were compared by 2 groups: unexposed and new users of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor.


Cook MB, et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019 Oct 22. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-0619.


Testosterone is known to be a driver of prostate cancer growth. Androgen deprivation forms the backbone of many prostate cancer treatments. It is still unclear whether testosterone supplementation may result in increased prostate cancer incidence or severity. Retrospective cohort and epidemiologic studies help to answer this question. In this study, the investigators utilized a large insurance database to compare patients who received testosterone with two matched control groups. Somewhat unexpectedly, prostate cancer incidence was lower for the testosterone groups, compared with the controls, providing additional evidence for the safety of testosterone.—Mark A. Klein, MD