Scientists say that sex hormones may be responsible for the increased incidence of coronavirus men. Studies have shown that testosterone levels in the body decrease. The risk of illness or complications decreases. Several groups are currently testing the effectiveness of antiandrogens in the treatment of COVID-19.
Men make up the majority of patients with COVID-19, but the reasons for this are not completely clear. This phenomenon is often associated with the lifestyle of men. They often drink, smoke, eat junk food, and have chronic diseases. However, hormonal levels can also contribute. “Taskboot” studied works on the relationship between androgens. Also studied on male sex hormones – and the risk of coronavirus infection.
Many scientists have noticed that among cancer patients there is reduced mortality from COVID-19 in men with prostate cancer.
Researchers at the University of Lugano in Switzerland analyzed the disease among Venice residents. Some of whom had cancer. The population died more frequently from the disease. But death bypassed men with prostate cancer.
In prostate cancer, testosterone stimulates the proliferation of malignant cells, thereby increasing the production of TMPRSS2 protein. In order to slow the growth of tumors, patients are provided with anti-androgen drugs that inhibit hormone synthesis. However, it turns out that TMPRSS2 plays a role in coronavirus infection-SARS-COV-2 must enter the cell. Scientists say it is clear that hormone therapy for prostate cancer can reduce the risk of infection and make the disease easier to spread.
This work has led to more emergence, confirming the link between prostate cancer hormone therapy and reduced risk and reduced mortality. However, it is not known whether TMPRSS2 controls the behavior of lung viruses to the same extent as tumor growth. However, they believe that anti-androgens can help protect men from coronaviruses.
Other observations talked about the connection between testosterone and the risk of infection with COVID-19. Therefore, among the patients in the hospital, when the hair on the forehead and the top of the head falls, the male pattern baldness is predominant. It is related to androgens and affects the division of hair stem cells. Castration is known to cause the stabilization of baldness.
Further research confirmed the relationship between androgen levels and the severity of COVID-19 in hundreds of men. In women, this effect is not observed.
These data may help to develop new therapies. Oncologist Matthew Rettig, who leads prostate cancer research at the University of California, Los Angeles, has performed double-blind, randomized, anti-androgenic drug degarelix among 200 men in COVID-19 hospitalized in Los Angeles, Seattle and New York Placebo-controlled trials. Some patients receive injections to reduce testosterone levels to zero. This at least almost completely reduces TMPRSS2 production in the prostate.
However, there are side effects-hot flashes and breast development.
However, this is a temporary effect, Rettig pointed out that when testosterone resumes production, this effect will disappear. He hopes to get enough data in the next 4-5 months to understand whether this method can help relieve symptoms and reduce mortality.
Johns Hopkins University is conducting another study under the supervision of prostate cancer expert Catherine Marshall. She used an inexpensive old androgen bicalutamide blocker. There are women in this subjects-first of all, although the concentration is lower, they also have androgens. Second, bicalutamide increases the activity of estrogen, which, as mentioned earlier, helps the lungs recover.
“We are treating in the early stages of the disease,” Marshall said. “If it works, it will be achieved by reducing the viral load.”
At the University of California, San Francisco University, a team led by cell biologist Faranaki Fattahi studied the role of several drugs in heart cells to find the most effective way to reduce the number of ACE2 receptors-combined with the SARS-COV-2 virion ability Penetrate cells. It can best show finasteride and dutasteride, they can prevent the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. The first is used to treat male pattern baldness, and the second is used to treat prostate cancer. In addition, dutasteride can reduce the level of ACE2 in the alveolar cells of healthy people.
“All the evidence points to the same thing,” Fatah said.
So far, the hypothesis about the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and androgens needs further confirmation. However, existing results indicate that the use of anti-androgens can indeed be an effective way to fight coronavirus, slow its spread, and allow the immune system to overcome it.