TOM: Testosterone in Older Men With Sarcopenia

This study has been completed.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Shalender Bhasin, Boston Medical Center Identifier:
First received: October 14, 2005
Last updated: November 20, 2012
Last verified: November 2012

The purpose of this study is to determine whether testosterone replacement in older men with low testosterone levels will increase muscle strength, improve physical performance and overall sense of well being, and reduce fatigue.

Condition Intervention Phase
Muscular Diseases
Drug: Topical testosterone gel 1% (active formulation)
Drug: Topical gel (placebo formulation)
Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Testosterone Replacement for Older Men With Sarcopenia

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Boston Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Changes in physical performance measured by an exercise testing regimen [ Time Frame: baseline and 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Changes in disability, fatigue, affect, and sense of well being assessed by validated questionnaires [ Time Frame: baseline, 3 months, and 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 209
Study Start Date: January 2005
Study Completion Date: December 2009
Primary Completion Date: December 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1 Drug: Topical testosterone gel 1% (active formulation)
Starting dose 10 g/day; increased to 15 g/day or decreased to 5 g/day in order to attain morning total testosterone level between 500 - 1000 ng/dL. Blinding achieved by combining a total of 3 tubes of active or placebo gel, applied to upper arms and shoulders each day.
Other Name: Testim®
Placebo Comparator: 2 Drug: Topical gel (placebo formulation)
Starting dose 15 g/day (3 tubes), applied to upper arms and shoulders each day.

Detailed Description:

The primary objective of this study is to determine whether testosterone replacement in older men, who have low testosterone levels and mild to moderate physical impairment, will increase their maximal voluntary muscle strength of major upper and lower extremity muscle groups. The second objective is to determine whether testosterone replacement will improve the power of knee extension, physical performance tests, the level of physical activity (measured by 3D accelerometer), self-reported disability, exercise tolerance and mobility. The third objective is to determine whether testosterone supplementation improves fatigue, affect, and overall sense of well being in older men with low testosterone levels. A fourth objective is to define the Minimum Clinically Important Differences in physical measures perceived by the participants (MCID).

Participant involvement will require 15-17 clinic visits over 28 weeks. Five to 7 of these visits are for physical testing, including body composition, muscle performance, and physical function. Throughout the study, hormone measurements will be obtained.


Ages Eligible for Study:   65 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Community dwelling, ages 65 and older
  • Self-reported difficulty in climbing 10 steps without resting, or difficulty in walking 2 or 3 blocks outside on level ground
  • A score of 4 to 9 on the Short Physical Performance Battery (mild to moderate physical impairment)
  • Total serum testosterone level (TT) < 350 ng/dL and > 100 ng/dL
  • Without dementia (Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] score > 24)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Use of testosterone, anabolic steroids, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenedione or recombinant growth hormone (rGH) in the past year
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Use of anti-convulsants or glucocorticoids (equivalent to prednisone > 20 mg/day)
  • Prostate cancer, breast cancer or other cancers with life expectancy < 5 years
  • Limiting neuromuscular, joint or bone disease, or history of stroke with residual neurological problems
  • Any neurological condition that would impact cognitive functioning including:

    • epilepsy
    • multiple sclerosis
    • HIV
    • Parkinson's disease
    • stroke
    • other focal lesion
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) Axis I psychiatric disorder in past year or use of psychotropic medications in 6 months
  • Abnormal prostate examination; PSA > 4 ng/mL; or BPH symptom score > 21
  • Unstable angina, New York (NY) class III or IV congestive heart failure or myocardial infarction within 3 months of entry
  • Abnormal laboratory values (at discretion of principal investigator)
  • Untreated thyroid disease; systolic blood pressure > 160 or diastolic > 100 mm Hg
  • Body mass index > 40 kg/m2
  • Untreated severe obstructive sleep apnea
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00240981

United States, Massachusetts
Boston University Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02118
VA Boston Healthcare System (Jamaica Plain Campus)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02130
Sponsors and Collaborators
Boston Medical Center
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Principal Investigator: Shalender Bhasin, MD Boston University Medical Center, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition
Study Director: Shehzad Basaria, MD Boston University Medical Center, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition
Principal Investigator: Wildon Farwell, MD, MPH VA Boston Healthcare System (Jamaica Plain Campus)
  More Information

Additional publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Shalender Bhasin, Professor of Medicine, Boston Medical Center Identifier: NCT00240981     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: AG0057, U01AG014369, 2U01AG14369-06
Study First Received: October 14, 2005
Last Updated: November 20, 2012
Health Authority: United States: Food and Drug Administration

Keywords provided by Boston Medical Center:
hormone replacement therapy

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Muscular Diseases
Endocrine System Diseases
Gonadal Disorders
Muscular Atrophy
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neurologic Manifestations
Neuromuscular Diseases
Neuromuscular Manifestations
Pathological Conditions, Anatomical
Signs and Symptoms
Testosterone 17 beta-cypionate
Testosterone enanthate
Testosterone undecanoate
Anabolic Agents
Antineoplastic Agents
Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on October 02, 2015