The Prostate

The_prostate_pic

The prostate is part of the urinary and reproductive systems in the male human body. It is a small, male gland that is located in front of the rectum, slightly below the bladder. The prostate gland has two functions:

  • Since it surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body, its muscle fibres gently squeeze the urethra, helping control the flow of urine.
  • The gland produces and stores a component of semen, called prostatic fluid, which is secreted as sperm are transported through the urethra. The purpose of prostatic fluid is to provide nutrients to sperm and aid in the sperm delivery process.

For more information about the prostate, visit the Prostate Cancer Canada website or the Prostate Cancer Centre Calgary website.

Dr. Nawaid Usmani and team receive funding for their PRIME study!

The PRIME Study – Prevention and Intervention for MEtabolic syndrome:

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and newer manipulations of androgen receptor signaling have improved outcomes for advanced prostate cancer (PCa) patients.  The toxicities of ADT are many, including an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome (MS; defined as at least 3 of: hyperglycemia; abdominal obesity; hypertriglyceridemia; reduced HDL cholesterol; and/or hypertension). MS is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease mortality, stroke mortality, and all-cause mortality.  The prevalence of MS in men receiving ADT is at least 50% and contributes to decreased quality of life and increased non-cancer-related mortality.  Metformin holds promise as a countermeasure to MS development, and also has been shown to suppress PCa growth in pre-clinical models.

We hypothesize that the addition of metformin to ADT will reduce the rates of MS in men with advanced PCa, diminishing important toxicities of a therapy universally used in advanced disease.

We propose a double-blind, randomized phase III study of metformin or placebo in men with PCa starting intermittent ADT. The primary endpoint is the difference in MS rates at 1 year.  Other aims include evaluation of the influence of metformin on: individual MS components at additional time points; mean serum insulin levels and measures of insulin resistance; weight and quality of life.

A finding that metformin reduces MS incidence and/or has other benefits would change practice, as it would provide a practical and inexpensive strategy to reduce toxicity of an intervention employed in most men with advanced PCa.

- Catalina Vasquez