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Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice

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Purpose. Patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy undergo a rapid decline in bone mineral density during the first 6 to 12 months of initiating therapy. The World Health Organization has developed and implemented the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) to predict the ten year risk of a major fracture & hip fracture. Additionally, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the National Osteoporosis Foundation have developed osteoporosis guidelines. This study aims to characterize the fracture risk (based on the FRAX tool) and the current management of bone health based on national guidelines compliance.

Methods. A retrospective chart review of patients receiving a LHRH agonist at our institution was conducted. Data collection commenced upon Institutional Review Board approval and included demographics, past medical history, medication regimen, history of androgen deprivation therapy, bone health and its management. The ten year fracture risk calculated with the collected information using the FRAX tool.

Results. A total of 174 subjects included with a mean age of 65.5 years, 71.8% had stage II prostate cancer, 97.7% received the LHRH agonist leuprolide for a mean of 13.8 ± 18.1 months. In addition to ADT, 57% of patients had ≥ 2 risk factors for developing osteoporosis. The risk of sustaining a major facture increased from 4% to 5.6% after the initiation of ADT (P = <0.001). The risk for sustaining a hip fracture rose from 1.3% to 2.2% (P = <0.001). National guideline compliance was found to be 9%, 5% and 3% respectively for obtaining Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scans, calcium supplementation, and vitamin D supplementation.

Conclusion. In addition to predisposing risk factors for osteoporosis, ADT significantly increases the fracture risk in the prostate cancer population. There is room for improvement in the management of bone health as some intervention could have been made in over 90% of patients evaluated.


This is a post-print version of an article originally published in Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice, 2012, Volume 18, Issue 1.

The version of record is available through: Sage.