Gut bacteria link to Prostate cancer

Gut bacteria link to Prostate cancer
The evidence for a gut link to prostate cancer is mounting


Gut bacteria may well play a big part in Prostate cancer according to a number of different research groups, and especially new research from the TH Chan Public School of Health, Boston.






Chronic inflammation has long been known to play a role in the disease(1) and questions were asked as long ago as 2005(2) as to whether it could be the result an infectious disease. 






In 2013, researchers showed that in mice, at least, inflammation and prostate cancer could occur after infection with Helicobacter hepaticus. Worse, infected mice could give the problem to uninfected mice! However, this could be prevented if the recipient mice had a strong and healthy microbiome (the bacteria in the gut).






Some six months later, another team of researchers hypothesised that, because diet is known to have a significant effect on prostate cancer (polyphenol-rich foods are linked to a significantly reduced risk) the gut microbiome of prostate cancer patients was likely to be significantly different to that of healthy males(4).





So what does the microbiome of a man with prostate cancer look like, and how does it differ from that of a healthy male?






The TH Chan researchers(5) conducted a pilot study involving 20 men who had either benign prostatic conditions or early stage confined prostate cancer. Stool samples showed a higher relative abundance of Bacteriodes massiliensis in the prostate cancer cases compared to controls, whereas there was a higher level of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium rectalie in the controls. 






Not surprisingly, the different bacteria had different gene sequences and produced different biological compounds including proteins, enzymes and messenger RNA. A major follow up study is now being undertaken.

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What was interesting was that people were ruled out of the study if they had recently taken antibiotics or had a history of GI problems. In all the new studies on the microbiome, these two factors are known to make the healthy tissue, infected tissue difference, much worse. 














1. Nelson WG, De Marzo AM, Isaacs WB (2003) Prostate cancer. N Engl J Med 349: 366-381.10.1056/NEJMra021562 PubMed: 12878745  [PubMed



2. Correa P (2005) Commentary: Is prostate cancer an infectious disease? Int J Epidemiol 34: 197-198 PubMed: 15649962  [PubMed



3. Theofilos Poutahidis, Kelsey Cappelle et al





5. Golombos DM, Ayangbesan A et al, TH Chan; Urology September 2017;





2017 Research
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