There is a huge difference in gut microbes of prostate cancer patients as compared to those who have benign biopsies. Researchers presented the study at the European Association of Urology annual congress (EAU22), in Amsterdam.
Though there is a link, researchers say that the findings could partly explain the relationship between lifestyle effects and geographical differences in prostate cancer.
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.
Using samples collected from patients on a prospective multi-centre clinical study (NCT02241122) researchers 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.
Sixty percent 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 diarrhoea. They also had lower levels of Jonquetella, Moryella, Anaeroglobus, Corynebacterium and CAG-352 than men without.
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 emigrate 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.