Doctors have made a startling discovery while studying cancer patients infected with the new coronavirus,media BGR reported. Men with prostate cancer who received androgen blocking therapy (ADT) are less likely to be infected with COVID-19 and less likely to develop severe illness if they are infected with COVID-19, they said. Researchers believe ADT treatment may protect men from the new coronavirus.
Cancer may increase the effects of COVID-19 disease on patients. With that in mind, doctors will keep a close eye on cancer patients infected with the virus. Researchers from Switzerland and Italy have written a new study showing that androgen blocking therapy for prostate cancer may actually protect men from the new coronavirus infection.
The findings, published in the prestigious cancer journal Annals of Oncology, detail the surprising findings. The researchers found that patients treated with ADT were less likely to develop severe illness after contracting the new coronavirus, and were less likely to develop the condition after infection. Of the 4,532 men in Veneto, Italy, 430 had cancer, 118 of them with prostate cancer, the study said. The report says they previously thought men with cancer were 1.8 times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than the average man. However, when they looked at the overall picture of prostate cancer patients in Veneto, they found that only four of the 5,273 patients treated with ADT were infected with the new coronavirus and none died. This unusual statistical difference deserves more research.
37,161 MALE PATIENTS WITH THE SAME TYPE OF CANCER RECEIVED OTHER TREATMENTS. Of these, 114 received COVID-19 treatment and 18 died. Of the 79,661 other types of cancer, 312 were infected and 57 died. Researchers now believe that men without prostate cancer can be treated with ADT to prevent symptoms after COVID-19 infection or to reduce the severity of the disease.
“I hope our findings will inspire other clinicians to use transient ADT in clinical trials in men infected with COVID-19, in addition to other experimental therapies,” said Andrea Alimonti, a professor at Ticino University. “While these data need to be further validated in large queues in more COVID-19 patients, they provide the answer that androgen levels can promote neo-coronavirus infection and increase the severity of symptoms, which has been seen in male patients.” “
In a recent study, researchers in Switzerland and Italy said a protein called TMPRSS2 from the type II family of transmembrane serine proteases could help infect human cells, prompting researchers in Switzerland and Italy to study the potential treatment. TMPRSS2 can be found elsewhere, such as the lungs, which is where the new coronavirus replicates the most and can have potentially fatal consequences.
The ADT drug is targeted at androgen receptors, which regulate high levels of TMPRSS2 in the prostate. As a result, ADT can also regulate the level of the lung TMPRSS2 and may reduce the ability of the virus to infect cells. ADT treatment does not last more than a month and should have no obvious side effects, Alimonti said. “For example, progesterone-releasing hormones, lH-RH antagonists, can reduce a patient’s testosterone levels within 48 hours, and the effect of this treatment is short-lived. Once the patient stops taking the drug, the patient’s testosterone levels return to their previous levels. “
As with other new coronavirus studies, this cancer study needs more research to see if ADT drugs are really effective in cancer-free COVID-19 patients. But the study not only provides a potential treatment for men, but also explains why men may have worse forms of COVID-19.
“This may explain why men infected with COVID-19 develop more severe forms of disease than women,” Alimonti said. “It is well known that ADT can lower levels of TMPRSS2 in prostate cancer patients, and some experimental evidence suggests that this may occur not only in the prostate, but also in other tissues. So I wanted to see if ADT could reduce the risk of new coronavirus infection in men with prostate cancer. “
This may not be the only explanation, as other studies have shown that the virus does directly affect the testes. A recent study showed that ACE2 receptors in the testicles explain why men are more likely than women to develop COVID-19 severe cases. Another report even showed that the new coronavirus could be present in men’s semen.