Not all enlarged prostates are the same, say University of Pittsburgh researchers

PITTSBURGH, May 23 Men with asymptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), symptomatic BPH, and BPH with prostate cancer express different genes according to a study published by the University of Pittsburgh in the May 28 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). These findings are the first to investigate the molecular differences underlying BPH, commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate.

We have known that not all BPH is the same; patients experience different degrees of prostate enlargement and experience different symptoms, ranging from none to renal failure, but we didnt know why, said Robert Getzenberg, Ph.D., director of urological research and associate professor, department of urology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and co-director of the prostate and urologic cancer program of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). In fact, we knew little about the causes of BPH, and prior to this study, we knew very little about the genetics of BPH. As a result, we were treating all patients in a similar manner, which proved to be very costly and, in many patients, ineffective. Now, we can look into targeting the different types of BPH and creating new therapies to alleviate the symptoms of the disease based upon their unique properties.

Researchers identified a set of 511 genes that were differentially expressed in tissue samples taken from four groups of patients: normal (patients without BPH), BPH without symptoms, BPH with symptoms, and BPH with cancer. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that each of the four groups were clearly distinguishable from one another. The prostates of the group of men with symptomatic BPH were most similar to the BPH areas of the individuals with prostate cancer. This relationship may indicate the presence of a potential link between BPH and prostate cancer that has not been previously identified as well as support the concept of a genetic field eff

Contact: Jocelyn Uhl
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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