Matthew Rettig, MD, presented “Hormonal Intervention for the Treatment of Veterans with COVID-19 Requiring Hospitalization (HITCH)” for the Grand Rounds in Urology audience in December 2020.

How to cite: Rettig, Matthew. “Hormonal Intervention for the Treatment of Veterans with COVID-19 Requiring Hospitalization (HITCH)” December 2020. Accessed Oct 2021. https://grandroundsinurology.com/hormonal-intervention-for-the-treatment-of-veterans-with-covid-19-requiring-hospitalization-hitch/

Summary:

Matthew Rettig, MD, Chief of Hematology-Oncology at the VA Medical Center in Greater Los Angeles and Professor of Medicine and Urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, discusses the rationale and goals of a current study looking at whether androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) may benefit men with COVID-19. Dr. Rettig notes that men appear to be both slightly more susceptible than women to COVID-19 and to have significantly worse outcomes, possibly as a result of differences in behavior and comorbidities, but also potentially because androgens may exacerbate the effects of COVID-19, while estrogen may be protective against it. Small early studies were inconclusive as to whether patients with prostate cancer already being treated with ADT had a reduced incidence of COVID-19, but data from the VA system suggests that ADT has a modest protective effect against a diagnosis of COVID-19. Dr. Rettig explains that the currently-recruiting Hormonal Intervention for the Treatment of Veterans with COVID-19 Requiring Hospitalization (HITCH) study is designed to determine whether, in addition to its protective effects, ADT also reduces the severity of COVID-19 illness. To that end, the study investigators plan to see if treating men between the ages of 18 and 85 who have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 with degarelix improves clinical outcomes by reducing mortality, ongoing need for hospitalization, or requirement for mechanical ventilation.