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Neurourol Urodyn. 2007;26(4):458-63; discussion 464.

A critical review of the pharmacology of the plant extract of Pygeum africanum in the treatment of LUTS.

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  • 1Fournier Pharma, Daix, France.

Abstract

Despite an unremitting increase in the number of patients presenting symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), the viable treatment options remain relatively limited when compared to other disorders of aging. This has spurred an interest in so-called alternative medicines, many of which continue to be used in spite of the more recent emergence of rationally targeted therapies. Nonetheless, in the case of plant extracts, the vast majority of these have not been subjected to the same rigorous pre-clinical pharmacological testing and large-scale clinical trials now required by health authorities. Furthermore, demonstration of their clinical efficacy in BPH has been hindered by trials of limited duration with a high placebo response. Beginning with a preliminary demonstration of in vitro inhibition of growth factor-mediated fibroblast proliferation with Pygeum africanum extract, a detailed series of in vitro and in vivo studies on prostate growth and bladder function were undertaken. These studies, reviewed herein, have permitted the identification of putative molecular targets of Pygeum africanum extract affecting both growth factor-mediated prostate growth as well as specific parameters of bladder function. These results, corroborated in part by short-term clinical efficacy, set the stage for a large-scale clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of Pygeum africanum extract in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms.

Copyright (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID:
17397059
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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