Testosterone-reducing therapy may aid against coronavirus, study shows

Men with the disease who got hormone therapy had a fourfold lower risk of virus infection than patients who didn’t get such treatment, the study showed.
An undated scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow), also known as novel coronavirus, the virus that causes Covid-19, isolated from a patient in the US, emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.(via REUTERS)
An undated scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow), also known as novel coronavirus, the virus that causes Covid-19, isolated from a patient in the US, emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.(via REUTERS)
Updated on May 07, 2020 06:05 AM IST
Copy Link
ByBloomberg | Posted by: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

Therapy to reduce testosterone and other hormones in men with prostate cancer may have a protective effect against the new coronavirus, a study of thousands of Italian patients showed.

Men with the disease who got hormone therapy had a fourfold lower risk of virus infection than patients who didn’t get such treatment, the study showed. The difference was even more pronounced when the research team compared prostate cancer patients on hormone therapy with people who had any other type of cancer.

The results don’t mean that virus patients should start taking hormone therapy, cautioned Fabrice Andre, director of research at the Institut Gustave Roussy in Paris and editor-in-chief of Annals of Oncology, where the results were published. But the data show that it would be worth studying the therapy in infected people, Andre said.

“This is really a new piece in the puzzle,” said Andrea Alimonti, a professor of oncology at the Universita della Svizzera Italiana and ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Researchers are preparing a follow-up study in which high-risk virus patients would be randomly assigned to take the hormone treatment, and plan to be ready to start if there’s a second wave of infections later this year, Alimonti said.

Reducing testosterone might help because a receptor for male hormones also regulates a protein called TMPRSS2, shown in other research to help Covid-19 infect healthy cells. Therapies that suppress male hormones can also decrease TMPRSS2 -- not just in the prostate, but in other tissues in the body, Alimonti said.

The study looked at 4,532 men infected with Covid-19 in Italy’s Veneto region, finding that about 10% had cancer, while 2.6% had prostate cancer. Cancer patients had nearly twice the risk of getting the virus compared with the male population as a whole, and got sicker once they were infected. However, among the 5,273 men on hormone therapy for prostate cancer in Veneto, just four got the coronavirus, and none died.

One confounding factor could have been that cancer patients on hormone therapy are treated at home instead of going to a hospital, making them better able to stick to social distancing, Alimonti said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Putin's daughter Katerina Tikhonova, seen in the photo right side, is reportedly in a relationship with Igor Zelensky.

    Putin's daughter flew to Munich over 50 times to meet partner Zelensky: Report

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's a former acrobatic dancer, daughter Katerina Tikhonova, is apparently in a relationship with a Munich-based ballet dancer Igor Zelensky, unrelated to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, though the duo share the same surname. Between 2018 and 2019, Putin's daughter flew to Munich more than 50 times, a joint investigation by independent Russian media outlet iStories and German magazine Der Spiegel has revealed.

  • SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk.

    SpaceX paid $250,000 to settle sexual harassment claim against Elon Musk: Report

    SpaceX paid an employee $250,000 to settle a claim she was sexually harassed by Elon Musk in 2016, according to a report from Insider. Representatives for California-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Hawthorne did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

  • Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. on May 19, 2022, to travel to Seoul, Korea to begin his first trip to Asia as US President. 

    Joe Biden has little to entice Kim Jong Un to stop weapons tests

    The last time a US president visited Seoul in 2019, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed to restart nuclear talks during an impromptu meeting at the heavily fortified demilitarized zone. As Joe Biden prepares to land in Seoul on Friday, the White House hasn't indicated he'll be heading to the DMZ. The White House has largely avoided stern reactions to Kim Jong Un latest tests, including an ICBM launch on March 24.

  • FILE PHOTO: A serviceman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) walks at the damaged war memorial complex Savur-Mohyla during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Donbas region from the Nazi occupation during World War Two,

    Zelensky slams Russia over 'deliberate attempt to kill as many as possible'

    Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday called upon the world's attention as he yet again accused Russia of targeting civilians with the war set to complete three months. The Kremlin launched its offensive on February 24 and said it was aimed at “de-Nazifying” the neighbour country - claims that have been repeatedly dismissed by Kyiv. A UN Security Council meeting yet again saw the US and Russia sparring amid intensifying food crises across the world.

  • In this photo provided by the North Korean government, a worker in protective gear stands on an empty sidewalk in Pyongyang, on May 17, 2022. 

    North Korea claims 'good results' in Covid fight as fever cases top 2 million

    North Korea said on Friday it was achieving "good results" in the fight against the country's first confirmed Covid-19 outbreak, as the number of people with fever symptoms surpassed 2 million. The isolated nation reported 263,370 more people with fever symptoms, and two more deaths, taking the total fever caseload to 2.24 million as of Thursday evening, including 65 deaths, according to state media KCNA.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, May 20, 2022