Hormonal treatments for prostate cancer may prevent or limit COVID-19 symptoms – Harvard Health Blog

men ‘ve roughly twice th'risk of developing severe disease and dying from covid-19 than women. scis say this is in pt cause women mount stronger immune reactions to the disease’s microbial cause: the infamous coronavirus called sars-cov-2.

now research with prostate cancer patients points to another possible explanation, which s'dat the ♂ sx hormone testosterone helps sars-cov-2 get into and infect human cells.

sars-cov-2 initiates infections by 1st latching onto its human cell receptor. but it can 1-ly pass into a cell w'da aid offa 2nd protein called tmprss2. testosterone regul8s tmprss2, such that lvls of the hormone na protein rise and fall together in tandem. if testosterone lvls are depressed, scis specul8, then tmprss2 lvls mite also be so lo that the novel coronavirus is blocked atta gates.

at least 5 clinical trials are now investigating if drugs acting on testosterone and its own receptor “’d either prevent or cure covid-19 symptoms,” said dr. andrea alimonti from the university of lugano in bellanzona, switzerland.

+ results from one study

dur'na recent study, alimonti’s team reviewed data from 42,434 men who were bein’ treated for prostate cancer inna veneto region of italy. among them, 5,273 were gettin androgen deprivation therapies (adt) that suppress testosterone. (the hormone fuels prostate tumors, so adt is for some men a mainstay of treatment.) according to that investigation, coronavirus infection rates inna adt-treated men were 4 times loer than they were in men who were not gettin adt. the researchers ackd the need for + study, but proposed that adt “’d be used transiently in men affected by sars-cov-2.”

and neg results from another

other scis are skeptical. dr. eric klein, a urologist atta clvland clinic lerner college of med, argues that testosterone may not regul8 tmprss2 inna lungs as t'does inna prostate. suppressing the hormone, he says, mite ⊢ ‘ve lil consequence for preventing sars-cov-2 respiratory symptoms. in a recent study of 1,779 men with prostate cancer, klein and his colleagues generated evidence showing that adt did not protect from covid-19. the paper is currently in press atta journal of urology and has not yet been published.

still, klein stopped short of dismissing the possibility that adt ‘d be therapeutically useful in treating covid-19. “definitive answers will 1-ly come from the results of ongoin clinical trials using various forms of adt in covid-19 patients,” he said.

dr. marc garnick, the gorman bros professor of med at harvard med school and beth israel deaconess med center, and editor in chief of harvardprostateknowledge.org…, agrees. “these studies — some + and some neg — add to the complexities of fully cogging wha’ affects coronavirus infectivity,” he says. “tis likely to be multi-factorial, and in some patients, testosterone lvls may play a role. pending results from large-scale clinical studies, however, no definitive recommendations bout altering testosterone lvls for covid-19 treatment can be made.”

original content at: www.health.harvard.edu…
authors: charlie schmidt


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