Multimodal characterisation of the benign prostate

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition that will affect most men as they age, resulting in swelling of the prostate and causing problems when they try to pass urine. It is rare in men less than 40 but can be found in over 70% of men over the age of 70. Current treatment for BPH involves either tablet medication or surgery. In some cases, patients will need both to get relief. These work to widen the natural urine channel (urethra) and ease the passing of urine. Despite the successes of these methods of treatment, the medications have significant side-effects and the surgery is prone to complications. Treatment of BPH is a source of significant health expenditure and as our population continues to age, it can be expected to further increase. There are a number of deficits in our knowledge in the field of BPH. Some of the major problems around BPH are that we are not as yet able to predict which patients will be affected most by the symptoms nor are we able to predict who will ultimately develop acute urinary retention, a painful condition where the man is completely incapable of voiding urine. Recent research has suggested that there is a link between the stiffness of the prostate and the symptoms it causes. The concept of a stiff or large prostate has been around for centuries, but only with the advancement of modern technology, can this concept be accurately quantified. Furthermore, these advances allow us to characterise the behaviour of the prostate cells in normal and diseased states enabling direct comparisons to be made. Using these various modalities, we intend to characterize the prostate cells mechanically, phenotypically and proteomically. With this information, we expect to identify new methods of diagnosing, managing and treating this condition.

Award Date
25 April 2013
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Niall Kelly
Host Institution
University of Limerick
Research Training Fellowships for Health Professionals