Overview: This study evaluated the impact of testosterone therapy on muscle structure and function, bone integrity and overall well-being in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Conclusion: This experience has indicated that testosterone treatment in adolescents with Duchenne muscular dystrophy is liked and well-tolerated but this study has not collected objective data on a specific treatment regimen, and there is no current consensus. Testosterone supplementation is not part of the standard of care of pubertal delay in Duchenne muscular dystrophy but inclusion in future protocols may be appropriate depending on the results of this trial.
Background: Adolescents with DMD treated with chronic high dose GC therapy typically have profound pubertal delay. Testosterone, the main circulating androgen in men, promotes virilisation and growth with associated accrual of fat-free muscle mass and bone mineral content. Testosterone therapy is routinely used to mimic the normal stages of pubertal development in patients with hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism, androgen deficiency secondary to testicular disease and in constitutional delay of growth and puberty (CDGP). Improved life expectancy in DMD has meant that more adolescents are eligible for testosterone supplementation but there is little objective data regarding the impact of this treatment on muscle structure and function, bone integrity and overall well-being.
Methods: This is a single centre observational clinical trial (NCT02571205) that aims to follow the progress of 15 adolescents with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and delayed puberty as they are managed with incremental testosterone therapy to induce puberty. Subjects will all be treated with a steadily increasing dose of testosterone administered by injection every 4 weeks and data will be collected to help us determine the effectiveness and tolerability of the described treatment regimen. We will use the data to explore the effects of testosterone on pubertal development, growth, muscle strength and function, bone mineral density, body composition with a detailed record of any adverse events. We will also carry out interviews to explore the boys' views on the tolerability of the regimen. The study will last for 27 months in total for each participant. Discussion: Our experience has indicated that testosterone treatment in adolescents with DMD is liked and well tolerated but we have not collected objective data on a specific treatment regimen and there is no current consensus. Testosterone supplementation is not part of the standard of care of pubertal delay in DMD but inclusion in future protocols may be appropriate depending on the results of this trial. Trial registration: EudraCT Number: 2015-003195-68. Research Registry & References: Clinical trials.gov- NCT02571205 (registered 8/10/15).