Game-changing: Bacteria linked to prostate cancer discovered
Scientists aren't sure if the microbes are to blame, but if they are, it could save thousands of lives.
Scientists have discovered bacteria linked to aggressive prostate cancer, which has been hailed as a potential revolution in the prevention and treatment of the disease's most lethal form.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia conducted sophisticated genetic analyses on the urine and prostate tissue of over 600 men with and without prostate cancer and discovered five species of bacteria linked to the disease's rapid progression.
The study does not prove that the bacteria cause or worsen prostate cancer, but if ongoing research confirms their role, researchers will be able to develop tests to identify men who are most at risk, and potentially find antibiotics to prevent cancer from killing thousands of people each year.
The scientists describe their genetic investigations in the European Urology Oncology journal, where they discovered five species of bacteria, three of which were previously unknown to science, that were linked to advanced prostate cancer.
Men who had one or more of the species in their urine, prostate, or tumor tissue were 2.6 times more likely to have their early-stage cancer evolve into advanced disease than men who did not.
While prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, the disease is not the direct cause behind the deaths of the patients. It rather accompanies them until the very end.