UCL News


Breakthrough in prostate treatment

20 January 2004

Major advances in alleviating millions of men from the discomfort of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or prostate enlargement, are promised by the results of a research collaboration between UCL's Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research (WIBR) and the Institute of Urology & Nephrology.

The team, led by Dr Selim Cellek (WIBR), developed a new drug that inhibits the enzyme Rho-associated kinase. BPH currently affects 85% of men over the ago of 50 and causes frequent urination and irritation due to the obstruction of urine flow.

Current treatments either relax or reduce the size of the prostrate, with unwelcome hormonal effects. Patient compliance is also problematic, due to the two separate medications. The Rho-associated kinase inhibitor both relaxes and reduces the gland in one treatment, without risk of hormonal side effects.

Dr Cellek said: "We are very excited at this discovery, as it is a medical breakthrough which represents a major advance in treating a condition that affects such a large proportion of the population. We are still at the development stages and more research will be required before the new treatment becomes available. The next step will be to develop links with investors interested in developing this drug for the treatment of BPH."

To find out more about the institutes use the links below.

Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research
Institute of Urology & Nephrology