January 21, 2019

   A Publication of the James Buchanan Brady
   Urological Institute Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Volume II, Winter 1991

Hormones and BPH

With aging, men are subject to two distinctly different prostatic diseases: cancer of the prostate and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is estimated that 75% of men over the age of 50 years have symptoms arising from BPH, that more than 350,000 prostatectomies are preformed each year in the United States, and that 20-30% of men who live to age 80 require surgical invtervention for the management of BPH. If the cause of this common disorder were determined, it might be possible to develop effective treatments to prevent the progression of the disease and reduce the need for surgery. Because prostate growth is regulated principally by hormones, it has been assumed for years that BPH may be under endocrine (hormone) control. In an effort to determine whether there is an endorcine effect on BPH, 70 patients agreed to extensive blood tests prior to radical prostatectomy. We were able to link 23 hormonal factors in the serum obtained from these patients with the extent of BPH. We learned that patients with larger volume of BPH had higher serum androgen (male hormone) and estrogen (female hormone) levels, suggesting that these hormones may be factors in the persistent advance of BPH with age. If so, attempts at lowering androgen levels, reducing estrogen levels, or blocking androgen stimulation through other mechanisms may interfere with the progression of BPH with age. We are currently testing some important compounds that appear to show activity.


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