Impact of Adjunct Testosterone on Cancer-Related Fatigue: An Ancillary Analysis from a Controlled Randomized Trial

Kristen A. McGovern, William J. Durham, Traver J. Wright, E. Lichar Dillon, Kathleen M. Randolph, Christopher P. Danesi, Randall J. Urban, Melinda Sheffield-Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Many cancer patients undergoing treatment experience cancer-related fatigue (CRF). Inflammatory markers are correlated with CRF but are not routinely targeted for treatment. We previously demonstrated in an NIH-funded placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial (NCT00878995, closed to follow-up) that seven weekly injections of 100 mg adjunct testosterone preserved lean body mass in cancer patients undergoing standard-of-care treatment in a hospital setting. Because testosterone therapy can reduce circulating proinflammatory cytokines, we conducted an ancillary analysis to determine if this testosterone treatment reduced inflammatory burden and improved CRF symptoms and health-related quality of life. Randomization was computer-generated and managed by the pharmacy, which dispensed testosterone and placebo in opaque syringes to the administering study personnel. A total of 24 patients were randomized (14 placebo, 10 testosterone), and 21 were included in the primary analysis (11 placebo, 10 testosterone). Testosterone therapy did not ameliorate CRF symptoms (placebo to testosterone difference in predicted mean multidimensional fatigue symptom inventory scores: −5.6, 95% CI: −24.6 to 13.3), improve inflammatory markers, or preserve health-related quality of life and functional measures of performance in late-stage cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8340-8356
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • CRF
  • cancer
  • cytokines
  • fatigue
  • mood
  • quality of life
  • testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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