MADISON, WI—How does a history of Agent Orange exposure affect prostate cancer survival in VA patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy for advanced prostate cancer?

That was the question addressed in a Journal of Urology study.1

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health researchers retrospectively examined the association between Agent Orange exposure in men with prostate cancer in national VA databases who were being treated with androgen deprivation therapy.

Included were patients diagnosed with prostate cancer from 2000 to 2008, with follow-up through May 2016. Clinical, pathological and demographic variables were compared by Agent Orange exposure.

The study identified 87,344 patients, overall, with the 3,475 Agent Orange exposed patients being younger (p <0.001), having lower prostate specific antigen (p = 0.002) and being more likely to receive local therapy and chemotherapy than the 83,869 nonexposed patients.

The Charlson comorbidity index was similar in the groups (p = 0.40), researchers noted.

Results indicated that adjustment Agent Orange exposure was associated with improved overall survival (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.73-0.97, p = 0.02). No difference was observed in the risk of skeletal related events (HR 1.04, 95% CI 0.80-1.35, p = 0.77) or cancer-specific survival (HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.60-1.03, p = 0.08), however.

“Agent Orange exposure was associated with a decreased risk of death in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for advanced prostate cancer. It does not appear to be associated with worse oncologic outcomes,” the study authors concluded.

1 Etheridge T, Liou JI, Downs TM, Abel EJ, Jarrard DF, Richards KA. The Impact of Agent Orange Exposure on Prostate Cancer Outcomes. J Urol. 2019 Apr;201(4):742-750. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2018.10.005. PubMed PMID: 30321553.