Novel therapeutic targets for benign prostatic hyperplasia

A large genome-wide association study revealed novel therapeutic targets for patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) requiring surgery.

Ethnic-specific targets were detected in the study

“There is a need to detect genomic drivers of BPH, and find new targets for the treatment of this condition,” explained Prof. Richard Bryant (University of Oxford, UK) at the start of his presentation. “Although a recent genome-wide association study reported 23 genome-wide significant variants at 14 loci, this data did not include surgically-treated BPH2.” The current study aimed to identify genomic drivers of BPH requiring surgery for the purpose of finding new potential treatment targets. In total, 109,627 patients with BPH and 805,054 control participants were analysed through single-cell RNA sequencing.

The analysis detected 17 genetic variants that were significantly associated with surgically-treated BPH. Of these 17 variants, 8 had not been associated with BPH in prior studies, added Prof. Bryant. Furthermore, 3 genetic variants were only observed in certain ethnic groups. Prof. Bryant mentioned that the results of this large genome-wide association study provide a proof-of-principle that genetic risk scores are related to BPH severity and the need for surgery. “Several promising candidates for therapeutic development have been discovered and a first step towards personalised medicine for clinically significant BPH has been made.”

1. Ng M, et al. Trans-ethnic genome-wide association study reveals new therapeutic targets for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Abstract 0590, EAU 2022, 01–04 July.
2. Gudmondsson J, et al. Nat Commun. 2018;9:4568.