Emotional disorders in testicular cancer survivors in relation to hypogonadism, androgen receptor polymorphism and treatment modality

Jakob Eberhard, Olof Ståhl, Gabriella Cohn-Cedermark, Eva Cavallin-Ståhl, Yvonne Giwercman, Hamideh Rastkhani, Lars Rylander, Malin Eberhard-Gran, Ulrik Kvist, Aleksander Giwercman
Journal of Affective Disorders 2010, 122 (3): 260-6

PURPOSE: It has been documented that testicular germ cell cancer (TGCC) patients may be at increased risk of developing emotional distress (EMD). Hence, the aim of the present study was to investigate whether EMD is related to the presence of hypogonadism, androgen receptor (AR) polymorphism and/or treatment intensity.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Three to five years after treatment, testosterone and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were measured in 165 TGCC patients. These patients also completed a questionnaire concerning mental health. EMD was measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The androgen receptor (AR) gene has two polymorphic regions in exon I; glutamine encoding CAG and glycine encoding GGN repeats. Association between emotional disorders and AR polymorphisms as well as type of treatment was assessed.

RESULTS: Neither anxiety (OR 1.0; 95% CI 0.40-2.4) nor depression (OR 1.1; 95% CI 0.20-6.4) were overrepresented in biochemically hypogonadal TGCC patients and no association between AR polymorphisms and EMD was found. Patients treated with >or=5 cycles of cisplatinum based chemotherapy due to refractory or relapsed disease were more prone to experiencing symptoms of anxiety (p=0.006), but not depression (p=0.38).

CONCLUSIONS: Biochemical hypogonadism and AR polymorphism do not seem to be risk factors for EMD in TGCC patients. Patients with refractory or relapsed disease receiving >or=5 cycles of cisplatinum based chemotherapy may, to a higher degree than patients receiving less intense therapy, suffer from anxiety.

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