Background: Standard treatment with beclomethasone and/or mesalazine in the late actinic proctitis gives poor results. Butyrate constitutes an energy source for colonocytes and deficiency in this substance can result in mucosal hyperplasia as well as acute or chronic inflammation. Aims: To assess the efficacy of oral butyrate in late actinic proctitis in prostate cancer patients. Materials and methods: 26 patients were included in the study and treated with oral butyrate in combination with topical mesalazine and/or beclomethasone for 6 months and 44 control subjects received topical therapy with mesalazine and/or beclomethasone for 6 months. Both groups underwent clinical examination as well as pre-treatment (T0) and post-treatment endoscopy (T2). Results: Endoscopic evaluation between T0 and T2 demonstrated improved clinical condition in 50% of patients vs. 20% of controls (p = NS); complete normalisation was seen in 10% of patients but in none of the controls (p = NS). Evaluation of clinical status between T0-T2 showed remission with resolution of symptoms in 60% of patients vs. none of the controls (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: The preliminary results of our study show significantly superior efficacy of therapy in the group receiving butyrate supplement. These findings are encouraging and require confirmation in a larger patient population. © 2007 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l.
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