Prostate Cancer and Nitro-glycerine

February 17, 2010


If you are suffering from angina, you may well carry a drug containing nitro-glycerine to put under the tongue in the event of an attack. Nitro-glycerine is used because it dilates the vessels to lower the blood pressure and dilates the coronary arteries to bring rapid relief from symptoms such as heaviness in the chest and shortness of breath.

Now it is also being suggested it could also slow and even halt the progression of the disease without the severe side effects of current treatments. Researchers at Queen’s University, Belfast have been conducting the first ever clinical trial of nitro-glycerine to treat prostate cancer. Their two year study was conducted on 29 men with increasing levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) following prostate surgery or radiation.

What they found that the PSA levels (a key predictor of cancer progression) showed a significant slowing in the progression of the disease when given very low doses of a slow-release nitro-glycerine in a skin patch. This is good news as safe and effective treatments for men with rising PSA levels following surgery or radiation are limited.

Obviously this is a small study but it is encouraging news as of the 17 patients who completed the study, all but one showed a stabilization or decrease in the rate of cancer progression, as measured by their PSA Doubling Time. Of men who have undergone radical prostatectomy and/or radiation treatment, it is estimated that 30 to 50 percent will experience a recurrence of cancer so anything that can slow its progress, or halt it has the potential to offer prostate cancer patients a new non-invasive treatment option.

Broader clinical trials will be undertaken this year to confirm and expand these results


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