At VIMM, even scientific findings seem to believe in gender equality. After the pioneering study conducted by professors Francesco Pagano and Andrea Alimonti, which reveals a lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in men with prostate cancer undergoing androgen deprivation therapies, a new VIMM research highlights the same dynamics also in case of women. Among the patients with hormone-dependent tumors undergoing SERM therapy (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators), there is a reduction of SARS-CoV-2 infection in comparison with control groups.

Associated Investigator Monica Montopoli

Associate Investigator Monica Montopoli

The result has just been published in a study in the prestigious Annals of Oncology journal by VIMM Associate Investigator  and University of Padua professor Monica Montopoli and by Arianna Calcinotto, of the Institute of Oncology Research (IOR) in Bellinzona. The scientists conducted the study also in collaboration with Veneto Cancer Registry. The analysis considered a total sample of 51,060 women.

“In order to validate the hypothesis that hormone regulation may be implicated in the clinical outcomes of COVID-19, we evaluated the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization and death, in women with hormone-dependent tumors in treatment with anti-estrogen therapy ”underlines Monica Montopoli.

Again, as with Pagano and Alimonti’s discovery, the challenge is pharmacological experimentation. Another recent discovery, developed by the public private consortium Exscalate4CoV, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 call, involves the use of a selective estrogen receptor modulator drug. “The result we have obtained – continues Professor Montopoli – although it requires a larger sample and further molecular studies to shed light on the mechanism and protective effect observed in women under treatment with SERMs, identifies a new and possible way to prevent or mitigate the effects of the virus “.