Emerging drugs to target lower urinary tract symptomatology (LUTS)/ benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): focus on the prostate

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The benign prostatic syndrome, comprising lower urinary tract symptomatology secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia/enlargement, represents a major health care issue in westernized countries. The pharmacological management involves alpha-adrenoceptor antagonists, intervention into the hormonal control of prostate growth using inhibitors of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, and stimulation of the nitric oxide/cyclic GMP pathway by tadalafil, an inhibitor of the phosphodiesterase type 5.

This review summarizes the achievements which have been made in the development of drug candidates assumed to offer opportunities as beneficial treatment options in the management of the benign prostatic syndrome.

A review of the literature has revealed that the line of development is focusing on drugs interfering with peripheral neuromuscular/neuronal mechanisms (nitric oxide donor drugs, agonists/antagonists of endogenous peptides, botulinum toxin, NX-1207), the steroidal axis (cetrorelix) or the metabolic turn-over (lonidamine), as well as the combination of drugs already established in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptomatology/benign prostatic hyperplasia (phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor plus alpha-adrenoceptor antagonist).

Many research efforts have provided the basis for the development of new therapeutic modalities for the management of lower urinary tract dysfunctions, some of which might be offered to the patients in the near future.