|NIH Launches Effort to Advance Study
of Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Disorders
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announces
awards to eight academic research centers to conduct collaborative
studies of urologic chronic pelvic pain disorders by looking for
clues outside the bladder and prostate. The total research investment
for the five-year project is estimated to be up to $37.5 million.
"The launch of this novel research effort is an excellent
example of NIH’s commitment to encouraging translational research," said
NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "It also illustrates
NIH’s leadership in furthering innovative approaches to discovering
effective new therapies to help our patients."
The Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic
Pain (MAPP) Research Network includes six Discovery Sites that
will conduct the studies and two Core Sites that will coordinate
data collection, analyze tissue samples, and provide technical
support. The Discovery Sites are at: Northwestern University, Chicago;
the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Iowa,
Iowa City; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; the University
of Washington, Seattle; and Washington University, St. Louis. Core
Sites are at the University of Colorado, Denver and the University
of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
The MAPP initiative is unusual in requiring investigators to conduct
highly collaborative research of the most common urologic chronic
pelvic pain syndromes from a broadened systemic perspective. This
is a major shift from earlier organ-specific research on the two
most prominent urologic chronic pelvic pain disorders, interstitial
cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, and chronic prostatitis/chronic
pelvic pain syndrome.
"The MAPP Network’s expanded scientific approach will address
many persistent questions about urologic chronic pelvic pain," said
NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D. "Knowing whether there
are risk factors common to all the disorders and whether clinical
profiles can be identified for each will provide invaluable, fundamental
information for developing treatment strategies."
The innovative shift in research focus represented by the MAPP
initiative is supported by recent epidemiological studies showing
that interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome and chronic
prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome are frequently associated
with other chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia (chronic
pain of unknown origin), chronic fatigue syndrome, and irritable
bowel syndrome. These latest findings suggest the possibility of
common underlying disease processes in these chronic disorders.
"The bladder was assumed to be the origin of the interstitial
cystitis/painful bladder syndrome symptoms and the prostate was
assumed to be the source of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic
pain syndrome symptoms," explained Leroy M. Nyberg Jr., M.D.,
Ph.D., the NIDDK urologist heading the program. "However,
in spite of intense study funded by NIDDK, no organ-specific cause
has been identified for either disorder."
The MAPP research effort is expected to lead to critical new insights
into the underlying causes of urologic chronic pelvic pain. Widening
the scope of research will be bolstered by the perspectives of
project leaders not normally involved in urologic pelvic pain studies,
but who have expertise in relevant scientific disciplines. This
will expand the context in which research into interstitial cystitis/painful
bladder syndrome and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome
occurs and will encourage a more comprehensive approach to understanding
chronic pelvic pain.
Scientists at Discovery Sites will conduct individual and collaborative
multi-site research projects, supported by each Core Site. An important
first step in these studies will be the careful and extensive phenotyping
(clinical characterization) of the men and women participating
in the studies.
The Data Coordination Core (University of Pennsylvania) will provide
overall administration and coordination of multi-site research
studies and perform data analyses.
The Tissue Analysis and Technology Core (University of Colorado)
will bank, analyze, and distribute biopsy, serum and urine samples.
Tissue analyses will help in the search for biomarkers, important
in screening for diseases and for monitoring treatment outcomes.
The Colorado Core Site also will perform genomic and proteomic
tissue expression analyses which may lead to new treatment approaches
and help predict which patients may respond to these treatments.
In addition to initial collaborative projects by the Network,
MAPP investigators will be invited to propose ancillary research
projects to further the goals of the collaborative study group.
Proposals will be reviewed for scientific merit and feasibility
by an external Scientific Advisory Committee.
For more information on the MAPP Research Network, visit http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/Research/ScientificAreas/Urology/MAPP.
NIDDK conducts and supports research in diabetes and other endocrine
and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition, and obesity;
and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases. Spanning the full
spectrum of medicine and afflicting people of all ages and ethnic
groups, these diseases encompass some of the most common, severe,
and disabling conditions affecting Americans. For more information
about NIDDK and its programs, see www.niddk.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.