Transdermal estradiol therapy for prostate cancer reduces thrombophilic activation and protects against thromboembolism

Jeremy L. Ockrim, El Nasir Lalani, Ajay K. Kakkar, Paul D. Abel

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Oral estrogens were an effective treatment for prostate cancer but were abandoned because of an increased risk of cardiovascular toxicity and particularly thromboembolism. We have recently shown that transdermal estradiol produces an effective tumor response and negligible cardiovascular toxicity. Here we report the influence of transdermal estradiol therapy on the coagulation profile of men with advanced prostate cancer. Materials and Methods: A total of 20 patients with newly diagnosed locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer were treated using transdermal estradiol patches and the coagulation profile was assessed before and during 12 months therapy. Activation of coagulation was assessed by assaying the levels of activated factor VII (VIIa), activated factor XII (XIIa), prothrombin fragments 1 and 2 (F1 + 2), thrombin-antithrombin III (TAT III) complex and fibrinogen. Inhibition of the coagulation cascade was assayed by protein C, protein S and activated protein C resistance (APC-R). Fibrinolytic activity was determined by assaying tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) and plasminogen activation inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1). D-Dimer levels assessed both coagulation and fibrinolytic (thrombophilic) activity. Venous Duplex, color Doppler ultrasound and photoplethysmography were used to assess for thrombosis. Results: Levels of VIIa and XIIa were unaffected by transdermal estradiol therapy. Although levels of TAT III were increased in some patients at 12 months, the increase was markedly less than that observed historically with equivalent doses of oral estrogens. Levels of the inhibitory and fibrinolytic factors including protein C, protein S, APC-R, TPA and PAI-1 remained stable. Reductions in F1+F2, fibrinogen and D-Dimer levels represented a normalization from increased levels to the physiological range. Conclusions: These results suggest that transdermal estradiol reduces thrombophilic activation in men with advanced prostate cancer, and protects against the risk of thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-533
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cutaneous administration
  • Estradiol
  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Thrombosis


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