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Papers of the Week

Papers: 30 Mar 2024 - 5 April 2024

2024 Apr 02

J Pharmacol Exp Ther


Therapeutic approaches for UCPPS management: research advances, experimental targets, and future directions.


Ashraf S, Clarkson T, Malykhina AP


Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (UCPPS) is a painful chronic condition with persistent pain originating from the pelvis that often leads to detrimental lifestyle changes in the affected patients. The syndrome develops in both sexes, with an estimated prevalence of 5.7% to 26.6% worldwide. This narrative review summarizes currently recommended therapies for UCPPS, followed by the latest animal and clinical research advances in the field. The diagnosis of UCPPS by clinicians has room for improvement despite the changes in the past decade aiming to decrease the time to treatment. Therapeutic approaches targeting growth factors ( NGF, VEGF), amniotic bladder therapy and stem cell treatments gain more attention as experimental treatment options for UCPPS. The development of novel diagnostic tests based on the latest advances in urinary biomarkers would be beneficial to assist with the clinical diagnosis of UCPPS. Future research directions should address the role of chronic psychological stress and the mechanisms of pain refractory to conventional management strategies in UCPPS etiology. Testing the applicability of cognitive behavioral therapy in this cohort of UCPPS patients might be promising to increase their QoL. The search for novel lead compounds and innovative drug delivery systems requires clinically relevant translational animal models. The role of autoimmune responses triggered by environmental factors is another promising research direction to clarify the impact of the immune system in UCPPS pathophysiology. This minireview provides an up-to-date summary of the therapeutic approaches for UCPPS with focus on recent advancements in the clinical diagnosis and treatments of the disease, pathophysiological mechanisms of UCPPS, signaling pathways and molecular targets involved in pelvic nociception.