For men suffering the discomforts of an enlarged prostate, injections of Botox into the prostate may bring relief for up to 30 months, doctors in Italy report.
Dr Giuseppe Brisinda of Catholic University Hospital Agostino Gemelli in Rome and his colleagues report the outcomes for 77 men ages 50-80 years with so-called benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH, in the medical journal Urology.
The patients were given injections of Botox into the two lobes of the prostate under ultrasound guidance. Before treatment, the average symptom score on a standard index was 24.1; a score of 20-35 is considered severe. Average prostate volume was 54 ml, and peak urinary flow was 8.6 ml per second.
What the study found
Response peaked at two months: the symptom score fell to 8.7 and remained low (11.1) at 30 months; prostate volume was 31 ml at two months and 27 ml at 30 months; corresponding values for peak urinary flow were 16.5 and 14.5 ml per second.
What's more, the treatment was also associated with sustained reductions in PSA levels, indicating a possible anti-cancer effect. PSA levels averaged 6.2 before treatment, and this dropped to 3.0 within 2 months.
Despite these promising results, Brisinda's team says that Botox treatment of BPH should be tested further "before its general usage can be advocated." – (Reuters Health, February 2009)
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