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Dr. David Samadi: VA testing prostate cancer drug on male veterans with COVID-19

Testosterone could be a risk factor for Covid-19

men treated for advanced prostate cancer and had lower testosterone, had lower chance of getting Covid-19

relationship of testosterone and Covid-19

Covid-19 needs a protein to enter your lung system called TMPRSS2. Just like Lock and Key. Testosterone seem to be activating this protein hence more prone.

Men on hormonal treatment for advanced prostate cancer, low testosterone had four fold lower chance of getting Covid-19. Testosterone can activate the protein that the virus needs to enter our system.”
— Dr. David Samadi
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, May 28, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- A clinical trial to investigate the potential of treating men with COVID-19 will soon begin by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to study the use of degarelix, a drug approved by the FDA for prostate cancer. The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center will lead the clinical trial but also included will be VA medical centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York, and Washington State. The VA trial is expected to be completed within four months.
“I applaud the VA in their innovation to look at this medication for the possible treatment of COVID-19,” stated Dr. David Samadi, Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital at Roslyn, New York. “The more knowledge we can collect with the hope of finding that breakthrough drug that can conquer this virus, the better for all of us.”
The VA announced that the study will include almost 200 male veterans hospitalized with COVID-19. It will be a double-blind, randomized controlled trial comparing degarelix to a placebo.
“Degarelix, also known as Firmagon, is a treatment for advanced hormone dependent prostate cancer and works by decreasing the amount of testosterone produced by the body,” explained Dr. Samadi. “The hormone testosterone can fuel the growth of prostate cancer so this medication temporarily suppresses the body’s production of this hormone with the intent of slowing or stopping the spread of prostate cancer. The researchers with this study believe that if testosterone levels are lowered temporarily, then this might prevent the virus from infiltrating lung cells.”
So far what is known about COVID-19, is the short- and long-term effects it has on lung health for some people. Lung complications can include pneumonia and in more severe cases, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), along with sepsis, a complication that can cause lasting harm to the lungs and other organs.
Research has suggested that testosterone may be triggering the production of a protein called TMPRSS2 on lung tissue. This protein is believed to be what COVID-19 uses to invade lung tissue. Veterans who receive the drug as part of the clinical trial will only be given one dose of Degarelix that lasts for 28 days.
Women veterans will not be included in this study as this medication could make things worse for them by having the opposite effect of increasing the protein the virus needs to enter the lungs and increasing the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.
Dr. Samadi commented that there can be side effects from Degarelix that the male veterans might experience. These include hot flashes, weight gain, increased sweating along with night sweats, back and joint pain, and fatigue. However, the side effects should be temporary and once the treatment is done, testosterone levels will go back to normal.
“This will be a very interesting study to see what the results will reveal,” exclaimed Dr. Samadi. “It is encouraging and exciting to learn about the numerous clinical trials being conducted throughout the world with the aim of finding an effective treatment for COVID-19. We will find one and if it’s this prostate cancer drug, that’s even better.”

Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.

Dr. David Samadi, M.D.
roboticoncology
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