A new study has found that a drug that is commonly used to hormonally treat conditions such as prostate cancer, early puberty and excessive hair growth may be linked to a heightened risk of meningioma. The study was carried out by researchers at the University of Bristol who collaborated with researchers at the National University of Singapore and the University of Cambridge. The findings were published in “Scientific Reports.”
Meningioma is a common type of brain tumor that is typically benign and slow growing. These tumors are known to trigger disability by squeezing or compressing the adjacent vessels and nerves in the brain.
The researchers were focused on carrying out a meta-analysis study and systemic review of the drug, given its widespread use. They centered on four studies, with a sample of more than 8 million patients. Their objective was to examine the evidence of the link between incidences of meningiomas and cyproterone acetate.
They discovered a link between hormonal treatments and meningioma growth, particularly the long-term, high-dosage use of cyproterone acetate. This drug is normally prescribed in high doses to male patients suffering from inoperable prostate cancer. This condition usually leads to excessive growth of hair.
For their study, the team of researchers conducted an analysis of meningioma occurrence in patients who were administered with low and high doses of cyproterone acetate. They discovered a significant link between heightened risk of meningioma and the use of high doses of the drug, noting that this link wasn’t observed in low doses.
The lead author of the study, Keng Siang Lee, stated there was strong evidence to suggest that hormones played a role in facilitating the growth of meningiomas. He explained that meningiomas had a predisposition for females, particularly after puberty, noting that there was documented evidence on the fluctuations in the growth of menigiomas during breastfeeding, pregnancy and the menstrual cycle.
Siang Lee, a medical student at the Bristol Medical School, added that the researchers were also aware of the distribution of androgen, estrogen and progesterone receptors in specific meningiomas located at the skull’s base.
The researchers note that in light of these findings, the prescription of cyproterone acetate in high doses, particularly for off-label indications, needed to be reconsidered. They also suggested that surveillance of meningiomas and routine screening by MRI scans be provided to patients who had been administered with cyproterone acetate for an extended period of time.
They plan to conduct further studies on this particular subject.
As more is understood about how tumors develop and spread, the rate at which biotech companies such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) develop superior cancer treatments may keep accelerating in the years to come.
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