Men suffering from anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), being treated with crizotinib, have been found to experience a marked decrease in their testosterone levels, according to a study conducted by the researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. The study results have since been published in the journal Cancer.
Testosterone study in brief:
- Study included 19 men suffering from lung cancer and being treated with crizotinib tablets.
- Control group included 19 men with lung cancer receiving other therapies.
- Testosterone levels were found to be low in 30% of men being treated with other therapies.
- All the men on crizotinib treatment showed lowering of testosterone levels.
- Tracking time on this finding showed that testosterone levels started to drop as soon as crizotinib treatment began.
Low levels of testosterone can cause reduction in bone density, muscle strength, unexplained fatigue, and decreased sexual drive in addition to depression. Men who might have to take crizotinib treatment for long periods to keep their lung cancers in control may be subjected to profound effects of low testosterone levels.
The uniform low levels of testosterone found in men with lung cancer on crizotinib tablets, confirm the direct relationship of the drug with condition. However, the investigators claim that the condition can be treated.
Food and Drug Administration approved Crizotinib in August 2011. It is very effective in slowing down the progress of ALK positive lung cancer. The University of Colorado was involved in the initial development of the drug.
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