The clinical importance of quantifying body fat distribution during androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer

    1. Steve F Fraser
    1. Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to S J Foulkes; Email: steve.foulkes{at}


    Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is now considered a mainstay in the treatment of metastatic and locally advanced prostate cancer (PCa). Despite well-established benefits of ADT in relation to overall survival, this treatment has been associated with a number of adverse effects, particularly with regard to key cardiometabolic risk factors including the development of insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and increases in total and regional fat mass. In non-ADT populations, increased levels of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) are thought to be a key mediator of the increased cardiometabolic risk associated with weight gain, but this has received limited attention in men treated with ADT. VAT is best assessed using tools such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging; however, these tools are not readily accessible for the majority of researchers or clinicians. Recent advances allow for a method of estimating VAT using a whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan that shows promise as a practical tool for researchers to evaluate changes in body fat distribution during ADT. The aim of this narrative review is to (1) review the available evidence with regard to the relationship between ADT and cardiometabolic risk; (2) discuss the role of body fat distribution on cardiometabolic risk in non-ADT populations, with a particular emphasis on the importance of visceral adiposity; (3) examine the potential influence of ADT on body fat distribution and visceral adiposity and (4) provide an overview of current tools used to measure changes in body fat distribution in men treated with ADT, highlighting the potential utility of a recently developed DXA-derived measure of VAT.

    • Received 28 December 2016
    • Accepted 6 January 2017
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 6 January 2017
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