Scientific article

The potential role of the microbiota in prostate cancer pathogenesis and treatment

Publication date2023-07-25
First online date2023-07-25

The human body hosts a complex and dynamic population of trillions of microorganisms - the microbiota - which influences the body in homeostasis and disease, including cancer. Several epidemiological studies have associated specific urinary and gut microbial species with increased risk of prostate cancer; however, causal mechanistic data remain elusive. Studies have associated bacterial generation of genotoxins with the occurrence of TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusions, a common, early oncogenic event during prostate carcinogenesis. A subsequent study demonstrated the role of the gut microbiota in prostate cancer endocrine resistance, which occurs, at least partially, through the generation of androgenic steroids fuelling oncogenic signalling via the androgen receptor. These studies present mechanistic evidence of how the host microbiota might be implicated in prostate carcinogenesis and tumour progression. Importantly, these findings also reveal potential avenues for the detection and treatment of prostate cancer through the profiling and modulation of the host microbiota. The latter could involve approaches such as the use of faecal microbiota transplantation, prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics or antibiotics, which can be used independently or combined with existing treatments to reverse therapeutic resistance and improve clinical outcomes in patients with prostate cancer.

Citation (ISO format)
PERNIGONI, Nicolò et al. The potential role of the microbiota in prostate cancer pathogenesis and treatment. In: Nature reviews. Urology, 2023. doi: 10.1038/s41585-023-00795-2
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1759-4812

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