Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cholesterol-lowering drug shrinks enlarged prostates in hamster model

22.10.2010
A cholesterol-lowering drug reduced the enlarged prostates of hamsters to the same extent as a drug commonly used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), report researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and their colleagues in the October issue of the Journal of Urology. Together, the drugs worked even better.

"We don't know the mechanism, but the results suggest to us that lowering cholesterol has the potential to reduce BPH in men," says senior author Keith Solomon, PhD, a biochemist, and member of the departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Urology at Children's. "This brings up the possibility that other cholesterol lowering therapies, including exercise and diet, may prevent BPH from developing."

For unknown reasons, about half of men older than 50 (and 80 percent of men aged 80) develop BPH, most often evident as enlargement of the prostate. BPH leads to difficult urination, urgency, pain, and other symptoms that can cause significant reduction in the quality of life. In advanced stages, BPH can lead to renal failure. Standard medical and surgical treatments typically target the prostate and usually result in a reduction of symptoms but not without significant side effects in some men, Solomon said.

The study implicates circulating cholesterol in the progression of the condition and suggests a potential new strategy for prevention and treatment. The latest findings emerge from experiments with a strain of Syrian hamsters that undergo prostate enlargement naturally.

Led by first author Kristine Pelton, the team tested ezetimibe, an FDA-approved hypercholesterolemic drug (Zetia; Merck) against finasteride (Proscar, Propecia; Merck), a standard therapy for the treatment of BPH. Ezetimibe reduced prostatic enlargement in aged hamsters as effectively as finasteride and combining the two drugs worked better than either one alone.

In an unexpected finding, pathologist and co-author Dolores Di Vizio, MD, PhD, observed that finasteride caused atrophy of the hamster prostate while ezetimibe did not. "These findings provide strong evidence that the cholesterol-lowering drug inhibits BPH by a novel mechanism," said co-author Michael R. Freeman, PhD, professor of Surgery and director of urologic research at Children's Hospital.

The potentially therapeutic effect of cholesterol-lowering on enlarged prostates was pioneered 40 years earlier by co-author Carl Schaffner, PhD, professor emeritus at Rutgers University, who reported similar results in pre-clinical models using a different cholesterol-lowering drug.

"There is a lot more we want to do in the lab, with regards to studying BPH and the use of cholesterol-based therapies to control disease progression," says Solomon.

For example, the researchers want to test lower doses of ezetimibe and finasteride to examine whether the condition can be reversed with fewer side effects. They also want to assess prophylactic cholesterol lowering to determine if the enlargement can be prevented, and whether genes and proteins mediating the effect of cholesterol on the prostate can be identified. "We really want to be in the position to help conduct a clinical trial to test whether this therapy might have efficacy in human patients," Solomon said.

The study also validated the hamster strain as a good preclinical model for testing novel BPH therapies. "The preclinical models for BPH are few, require substantial manipulation or have an unpredictable disease course," Solomon says. "The Syrian hamster model that we are now using seems particularly good for examining the role of cholesterol in prostate disease, and the testing of novel drug therapies to help alleviate symptoms. We should be able to make substantial progress in developing new treatments and in understanding the molecular mechanisms underpinning the disease using these hamsters."

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and a grant from the Hyde and Watson Foundation.

Study links:

Ezetimibe reduces enlarged prostate in an animal model of benign prostatic hyperplasia, Journal of Urology, October 2010

Children's Hospital Boston is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, 12 members of the Institute of Medicine and 13 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is a 392-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Keri Stedman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.childrenshospital.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Neutrons produce first direct 3D maps of water during cell membrane fusion
21.09.2018 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

nachricht Narcolepsy, scientists unmask the culprit of an enigmatic disease
20.09.2018 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Three NASA missions return first-light data

24.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Brown researchers teach computers to see optical illusions

24.09.2018 | Information Technology

Astrophysicists measure precise rotation pattern of sun-like stars for the first time

21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>