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Gut Microbiota Differ in Men With Prostate Cancer

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Jul 2022
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Image: Petri dish culture plate with bacterial colonial growth of Prevotella spp., The men with cancer had increased levels Prevotella-9 (Photo courtesy of Dr. V.R. Dowell)
Image: Petri dish culture plate with bacterial colonial growth of Prevotella spp., The men with cancer had increased levels Prevotella-9 (Photo courtesy of Dr. V.R. Dowell)

Gut microbiota are the collection of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract and they affect processes and mechanisms in the body. The state of gut microbiota has been linked to many conditions, even in organs that are far from the intestines, but their role in prostate cancer is not understood.

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer globally, but varying rates in different parts of the world are little understood. It is common in most Western countries and less common elsewhere. Though it is known to be hereditary, there is evidence that men who emigrated from low to high incidence areas have increased risk of prostate cancer in their lifetimes, and their offspring have the risk of the high incidence region.

Clinical Urologists at theUniver sity of Turku (Turku, Finland) and their colleagues used samples collected from patients on a prospective multi-center clinical study. They sequenced the gut microbiota of 181 men who were suspected to have prostate cancer and undergoing prostate cancer diagnostics. The microbiota samples were collected at the time of their prostate biopsies after MRI scans.

The investigators reported that 60% of the men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and their gut microbiota profiles were significantly different to those who had benign biopsies. The men with cancer had increased levels of Prevotella 9, members of the family Erysipelotrichaceae, and Escherichia-Shigella, a pathogen that causes diarrhea. They also had lower levels of Jonquetella, Moryella, Anaeroglobus, Corynebacterium and Clostridium sp., CAG-352 than men who had no cancer.

Peter Bostrom, MD, PhD, a Professor of Urology and lead author of the study, said, “There are significant variations in prostate cancer rates around the world, which could be due to genetic factors or differences in healthcare policies, but also variance in lifestyle and diet. The difference in gut microbiota between men with and without prostate cancer could underpin some of these variations. More studies are needed to look at the potential for using gut microbiota for both diagnostic and preventive strategies.” The study was presented at the European Association of Urology annual congress held July 1-4, 2022, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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University of Turku

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