Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cholesterol-lowering drug shrinks enlarged prostates in hamster model

Date:
October 21, 2010
Source:
Children's Hospital Boston
Summary:
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. Together, the drugs worked even better.

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.

Related Articles


"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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital Boston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kristine Pelton, Dolores Di Vizio, Luigi Insabato, Carl P. Schaffner, Michael R. Freeman, Keith R. Solomon. Ezetimibe Reduces Enlarged Prostate in an Animal Model of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. The Journal of Urology, 2010; 184 (4): 1555 DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.05.083

Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital Boston. "Cholesterol-lowering drug shrinks enlarged prostates in hamster model." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101021165245.htm>.
Children's Hospital Boston. (2010, October 21). Cholesterol-lowering drug shrinks enlarged prostates in hamster model. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101021165245.htm
Children's Hospital Boston. "Cholesterol-lowering drug shrinks enlarged prostates in hamster model." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101021165245.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins