Nonsurgical treatment turns back the clock, shrinks enlarged prostate

April 15, 2013

Men with a common condition that causes frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom can get relief with a minimally invasive treatment that shrinks the prostate, suggests a study being presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 38th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans. The early findings hail from the first prospective U.S. trial of prostatic artery embolization (PAE), which reduces blood flow to the prostate, thus shrinking it.

"Nearly all men eventually suffer from an as they age, and this treatment is almost like turning back the clock and giving them the prostate of their youth," said Sandeep Bagla, M.D., the study's lead author and an interventional radiologist in the department of cardiovascular and interventional radiology at Inova Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Va.

"Medications are of limited benefit and surgery—while it can correct the problem—can be risky and may cause significant side effects. PAE is a minimally invasive alternative with low risk that appears to reduce symptoms in the overwhelming majority of patients," he said.

(BPH) affects more than half of 50-year-old men and more than 80 percent of 80-year-old men. "All patients are looking for the least with lowest risk, and this U.S. clinical study confirms the results reported by interventional in Europe and South America," said Bagla. He noted that millions of men shy away from surgical and other transurethral procedures because they understandably do not want to risk urine leak, impotence or other complications that may arise from .

In early findings of the study, 13 of 14 men (92 percent) who had PAE noticed a significant decrease in symptoms after one month. None of the men suffered any major complications, such as impotence, leaking urine or infection. Most went home the day of treatment.

Enrollment of 30 men for the first prospective U.S. study to evaluate PAE for enlarged prostates is underway and will be completed by fall, said Bagla. The study will look at clinical success and safety and will follow patients for two years to assess long-term results.

When the prostate becomes enlarged, it blocks urine flow through the urethra, leading to aggravating symptoms including nighttime urinary frequency, weak flow and inability to completely empty the bladder. Untreated, BPH can lead to bladder stones, poor kidney function and infections. Interventional radiologists have long treated a variety of cancerous and noncancerous conditions through embolization, which blocks blood flow to tumors and organs. For instance, uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is used to shrink benign fibroid tumors in the uterus. By temporarily blocking through the prostate artery, PAE causes the prostate to shrink, providing a larger passageway for urine.

"The participants in our study report a true lifestyle-changing effect after this treatment, with some men stopping medication for their prostate symptoms altogether," said Bagla. "Patients who have not been helped by surgery or laser treatments have benefited. Since the treatment does not involve placing a catheter or device into the penis, there is no risk of narrowing of the urethra, incontinence or bleeding," he noted.

Explore further: Interventional radiology: Potential breakthrough to treat men's enlarged prostate

More information: Abstract 154: "Early Findings From a Prospective U.S. Trial: Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE) in the Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)," S. Bagla, J.M. Cooper, K.S. Rholl, K.M. Sterling, D. Papadouris, A. van Breda, A. van Breda, J. Hedden, M. Ponturo, S. Pollach, L. McDermott, cardiovascular and interventional radiology, Inova Alexandria Hospital, Alexandria, Va., J. Wong, Alexandria Urological Associates, Alexandria, Va.; SIR 38th Annual Scientific Meeting, April 13-18, 2013. This abstract can be found at www.SIRmeeting.org

Related Stories

Interventional radiology: Potential breakthrough to treat men's enlarged prostate

March 25, 2012
A new interventional radiology treatment, prostatic artery embolization, may bring hope to men with debilitating symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, say the group of researchers who pioneered its use. The findings were ...

Recommended for you

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

July 24, 2017
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat ...

Raccoon roundworm—a hidden human parasite?

July 24, 2017
The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites—most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis).

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.