Unveiling the Role of Obligate Anaerobes and Vitamin Deficiency in Prostate Cancer Progression: A Promising Path for Non-Invasive Detection and Prevention

Prostate cancer poses a significant health challenge globally, with existing screening methods often failing to accurately predict the aggressiveness of the disease. Each year in the UK around 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and sadly about 11,500 will die from the disease.

This study is led by Dr Belinda Nedjai who is an Associate Professor specializing in Cancer Biomarkers and Epigenetics. It explores the potential of utilizing bacteria and genomic methylation studies to revolutionize prostate cancer detection and prevention strategies. Phase 1 findings have revealed a compelling association between obligate anaerobes, elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, and increased prostate cancer risk. Building upon this groundwork, our research aims to elucidate the intricate relationship between obligate anaerobes and vitamin deficiencies, particularly Vitamin D and K2, in prostate cancer progression.

Drawing parallels from the role of bacteria in other cancers, such as stomach cancer, the team hypothesize that chronic inflammation induced by specific bacterial strains disrupts the methylation status of genes responsible for vitamin-mediated tumor suppression mechanisms. Notably, emerging evidence suggests that the synergistic action of Vitamin D and K2 is compromised in the presence of bacterial-induced inflammation, potentially facilitating prostate cancer development and aggressiveness.

Moreover, leveraging insights from the ZOE project on the health benefits of fermenting foods and the production of Vitamin K2, this study integrates nutritional factors into the prostate cancer paradigm. By investigating the interplay between obligate anaerobes and vitamin deficiencies, the team aim to delineate novel pathways for cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment.

Ultimately, this research holds promise in paving the way for the design of innovative clinical trials targeting Vitamin D and K deficiency, obligate anaerobe detection, and the identification of prostate cancer progression genes through methylation studies. By shedding light on these intricate molecular mechanisms, the team aspire to enhance patient outcomes and alleviate the burden of prostate cancer on individuals and healthcare systems worldwide.