Prostate cancer: what if bacteria were involved?

Researchers have discovered bacteria that may be involved in prostate cancer. This cancer kills about 8,000 men in France every year.

dr Anne Sikorav

written on updated

Prostate cancer: what if bacteria were involved?
Prostate cancer: what if bacteria were involved? —

Family history, genetic predisposition, exposure to pesticides… The causes of prostate cancer are becoming better identified. Specialists are now researching a new route: bacterial infection. It could be linked to prostate cancer.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia, UK, examined urine and prostate tissue samples from more than 600 men, some of whom had prostate cancer. The results of their study have been published in the journal European Urology Oncology.

Aggressive forms of prostate cancer

Five types of bacteria were more common in samples from patients with advanced prostate cancer, the study found. And among these bacteria, three species were even completely unknown to science until then.

According to the university’s press release, the two new bacterial species the team discovered are named after the two institutions that funded the study: “Porphyromonas bobii” for The Bob Champion Cancer Trust and “Varibaculum prostatecancerukia” for charity Prostate Cancer UK.

According to the researchers, men who had one or more types of bacteria had a 2.6 times greater risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

How can bacteria cause cancer?

The role of microbes in the development of certain types of cancer is well established, for example the bacterium Helicobater pylori in gastric cancer or the papillomavirus in cervical cancer.

But beware, this prostate cancer study has not shown that bacteria cause or worsen prostate cancer.

We don’t yet know (…) how humans acquire these bacteria, whether they cause cancer, or whether a poor immune response allows the bacteria to grow – Dr. Rachel Hurst, first author of the study, in a press release.

A causal relationship was therefore not established. Whether these bacteria actually promote the occurrence of prostate cancer needs further research.

“Revolutionary Treatment”

if we can”show that these newly identified bacteria can not only predict but actually cause aggressive prostate cancer, for the first time we may be able to prevent prostate cancer from occurring.” also said dr. Hayley Luxton of Prostate Cancer UK, who co-funded the research.

At this stage it is already”an exciting discovery that has the potential to truly revolutionize the way men are treated.” he added.

In the future, could doctors prevent prostate cancer with a simple urinary bacteria screening and cure it with a prescribed antibiotic? case follows.

Prostate: a less risky biopsy
Prostate: a less risky biopsy —
The health magazine – France 5

Also read: Chlordecone: prostate cancer recognized as an occupational disease

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