This week a group from Norfolk and Norwich have published their work looking at the association of bacteria within the prostate and the development of Prostate Cancer. This has been reported int the news on the BBC

and in the Guardian

The researchers obtained secretions from the prostate in men either undergoing investigation for prostate or other urological cancers found in urine in over 300 men or at the time the prostate was removed. They identified bacteria including a number “anaerobic” bacteria that had not been identified before using genetic techniques.

Not only did they discover these new bacteria that had not been seen in the prostate before but there seemed to be an association between the presence of bacteria and aggressive forms of prostate cancer. It’s difficult to know whether this bacteria has caused the prostate cancer or is just present in men with prostate cancer and more research will need to be done. Bacteria and viruses have been linked to the development of other cancers but not prostate cancer. The detection of these bacteria may also be a way of identifying men with prostate cancer but again further research needs to be done.

It’s a very interesting discovery but will need to be confirmed in other studies and the true nature of the link will need to be worked out.