New Drug Targets Found for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Muscarinic receptor or P2X1-purinoceptor antagonists effective candidates for BPH

THURSDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Novel drug targets, including muscarinic receptor or P2X1-purinoceptor antagonists, are potentially effective treatment options for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), according to a review published online June 8 in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Sabatino Ventura, Ph.D., from Monash University in Parkville, Australia, and colleagues reviewed available literature to describe the current surgical and pharmaceutical therapies for BPH. Novel drug targets focusing on prostatic smooth muscle relaxation, like α1-adrenoceptor antagonists and other mechanisms of benefit in BPH, were identified.

The investigators identified a need for a therapy that stops BPH progression rather than only providing symptomatic relief. Drugs relaxing prostatic smooth muscle were found to be faster acting, more effective, and better tolerated than those that reduced prostate volume. The severity of BPH-related lower urinary tract symptoms correlated poorly with prostate size. The only prostatic smooth muscle relaxer (α1-adrenoceptor antagonists) currently available blocks approximately half of the contractile response to nerve stimulation. A target that inhibits nonadrenergic residual response would be beneficial to provide greater prostatic smooth muscle relaxation together with α1-adrenoceptor antagonists. Drugs with improved efficacy may allow patients with moderate or severe cases to avoid surgery. Muscarinic receptor antagonists have the potential to treat BPH, while PDE inhibitors, nitric oxide donors and P2X1-purinoceptor antagonists also offer some hope.

"Recent basic research has revealed a number of novel drug targets, such as muscarinic receptor or P2X-purinoceptor antagonists, which have the potential to produce more effective and safer drug treatments," the authors write.

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