5 Types of Bacteria Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer - HealthProKit

5 Types of Bacteria Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Using new methods to examine the gut microbiome of men with prostate cancer, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have found that five types of bacteria are more prevalent in the guts of men with aggressive forms of the disease. The findings offer potential new ways to detect and fight this serious form of cancer, which affects about one in seven men in the United States during their lifetimes. Findings from the study were published today in mSystems.

5 Types of Bacteria Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer
Source - CAMC 

What is prostate cancer?

The prostate is a small gland located underneath the bladder in men and is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate is part of the male reproductive system and produces fluid that helps sperm move. About 1 in 6 men over the age of 50 are diagnosed with prostate cancer, which makes it more common than lung cancer among men. In fact, one out of 36 men will be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer, making it a significant public health issue.

Although prostate cancer is not particularly common, it can be deadly. In fact, prostate cancer is one of three cancers that make up most male deaths in America. Since many people are unfamiliar with prostate cancer, there’s a lot of confusion about what it actually is and how it affects men; we’ll try to shed some light on these topics today. First, let’s define prostate cancer: as its name suggests, it starts in or around a man’s prostate gland. Most cases involve small tumors that grow slowly; these types may never cause any symptoms at all or lead to incontinence and impotence for older men.

How did scientists identify which bacteria are associated with aggressive prostate cancer?

Scientists identified 5 types of bacteria that are linked with aggressive prostate cancer. They reached their conclusions after studying 100 men diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and a control group of 100 healthy men, aged between 55 and 76. Researchers found that prostate cancer patients had more bacteria in common, called Fusobacterium nucleatum, in their rectums than did those who did not have aggressive prostate cancer. This bacterium was also associated with higher levels of bad cholesterol. The authors suggest that further research is needed before specific treatments can be developed for people with high concentrations of these bacteria in their intestines. Until then, they recommend cutting down on red meat and dairy products to reduce exposure to these bacteria. Reducing your intake of saturated fats could help prevent heart disease as well as reduce your risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. So swapping out red meat for chicken or fish would make sense.

What are the 5 types of bacteria identified in prostate cancer?

Researchers have identified five types of bacteria associated with aggressive prostate cancer, and they say their findings could lead to new treatments for the disease.

The five types of bacteria were common in urine and tissue samples from men with aggressive prostate cancer, according to the team at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the United Kingdom.

All of the bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they can grow without oxygen present, the researchers reported.

For the study, the investigators analyzed urine or tissue samples from more than 600 patients with or without prostate cancer.

"We already know of some strong associations between infections and cancer. For example, the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the digestive tract can lead to stomach ulcers and is associated with stomach cancer, and some types of the HPV virus can cause cervical cancer," project leader Colin Cooper, a professor at UEA's Norwich Medical School, said in a university news release.

"We wanted to find out whether bacteria could be linked to the way prostate cancer grows and spreads," Cooper explained.

Prostate cancer is more commonly a disease men die with rather than from, according to co-author Jeremy Clark, of Norwich Medical School.

"And little is known about what causes some prostate cancers to become more aggressive than others. We now have evidence that certain bacteria are involved in this and are part of the puzzle," Clark added.

Along with pinpointing the five types of bacteria, the researchers also identified potential biological mechanisms of how these bacteria may be linked to cancer.

The report was published on April 20 in the journal European Urology Oncology.

SOURCE: the University of East Anglia, news release, April 20, 2022, Robert Preidt(HealthDay Reporter

According to new research, there are five types of bacteria that have been linked with an increased risk for prostate cancer. These bacteria include Streptococcus, Veillonella, Fusobacterium, Prevotella, and Gemella. The presence of these bacteria in a man's body has been shown to increase his risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer by almost 50 percent. The study was conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and is published in PLOS ONE. The researchers found that men who had two or more strains of bacteria were 48 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than those who had one or none at all. Furthermore, men who had four or more strains were 82 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than those who had one or none at all. Additionally, aggressive prostate cancer was defined as tumors that grow quickly and spread beyond their initial site. This can lead to death within three years if left untreated. Of course, it's important to note that bacteria alone do not cause prostate cancer; however, it does appear as though they may be a contributing factor to its development.

There are 5 types of bacteria linked to aggressive prostate cancer

1) Streptococcus

A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found a strong link between bacterial infection and prostate cancer. Specifically, they found that men with prostate cancer have more Streptococcus bacteria in their urine than men without prostate cancer. They think that since these bacteria have been known to trigger inflammation, they could also contribute to triggering or speeding up prostate growth. They are currently researching whether certain antibiotics can help treat prostate cancer. For now, be sure to wash your hands after using public restrooms or touching anything around you that might contain bacteria (like door handles). It’s never too early to start protecting yourself from bacteria-induced diseases!

2) Veillonella

One new study found that having certain types of bacteria in your mouth and gut may increase your risk for prostate cancer. Specifically, two bacteria are known as Veillonella and Fusobacterium nucleatum (FN) were associated with a higher risk for high-grade disease—cancer that has already spread beyond prostate tissue. This is significant because most cases of prostate cancer are low-grade, meaning they don't have any symptoms and don't typically spread quickly. But more than 10 percent of all prostate cancers are high-grade and therefore more aggressive. In fact, if you're diagnosed with metastatic (stage IV) prostate cancer, there's a 90 percent chance it's high-grade. The reason is unknown—but scientists think bacteria in our mouths might play a role. Since both Veillonella and FN live in our mouths, researchers decided to investigate whether these bacteria could be tied to prostate cancer. To do so, they collected saliva samples from 1,000 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1,000 healthy men without prostate cancer. They then tested their saliva for bacteria using DNA sequencing technology. Sure enough, those who had higher levels of Veillonella or FN also had a significantly increased risk for high-grade prostate cancer compared to those who didn't have these bacteria.

3) Fusobacterium

Scientists have long suspected that bacteria could play a role in prostate cancer development, but it’s been difficult to definitively link bacteria and tumors until now. Researchers say they have discovered five different types of bacteria – known as Fusobacterium​ – linked with a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. For their study, scientists analyzed tissue samples from 93 men who had undergone radical prostatectomy for treatment. Of those, 13 developed a post-surgery infection due to Fusobacterium. The team found that four out of five men with post-surgery infections died within two years; only two out of seven men without an infection died during that time period. The findings appear in JAMA Oncology.​​​​​​​ The bacteria are normally present in our gastrointestinal tract and mouth, where they help us digest food. But according to researchers, these bacteria may also cause inflammation or alter immune responses when they enter tissues like prostate glands outside of our digestive system. These actions may contribute to tumor growth or progression by stimulating cells called fibroblasts, which create connective tissue (like collagen) needed for tumor growth and metastasis (the spread of cancer from one part of your body to another). Because these bacteria are naturally present in many people's bodies, it is not clear if removing them would prevent prostate cancer development or progression. That said, there is some evidence that Fusobacterium​ might be passed on through sexual contact between men.

4) Prevotella 

Some of these bugs are found in people who have low levels of inflammation and rarely develop prostate cancer. But other bug species can drive inflammation and disease progression, like Prevotella, another common bacterium that has been detected in approximately half of the men with advanced or metastatic disease. The researchers say it is not yet clear whether it's possible to improve a man's risk profile by eliminating certain bugs or boosting others. To that end, they are exploring new ways to use genetic sequencing data from biopsies to help them identify which microbes correlate with worse outcomes for men with early-stage disease. For now, it’s important to keep an eye on your gut health: Healthy gut flora appears to be one more factor in keeping your PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels low and reducing your risk of developing prostate cancer. That means taking steps to avoid unnecessary antibiotics, which may disrupt your body’s delicate microbial balance. In addition, keeping active and eating healthy foods—including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—helps maintain a healthy microbiome as well as a healthy body weight.

5) Gemella

Researchers at UCLA have found a potential link between aggressive prostate cancer and five different strains of bacteria. The presence of these strains - Gemella morbillorum, Propionibacterium acnes, Granulicatella adiacens, Peptostreptococcus anaerobius, and Finegoldia Magna - was detected in 75 percent of men with high-grade tumors. Prostate cancers are usually low-grade and slow-growing, but when they become high-grade they are much more likely to spread quickly and cause fatal side effects. There is currently no way to diagnose or prevent high-grade prostate cancers; scientists hope their new discovery will lead people towards earlier detection methods in the future. It's really exciting that we were able to find specific bacteria that can be used as markers for aggressive prostate cancer, said Dr. Jonathan Lo, senior author of the study and professor of urology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. We think these bacteria may play a role in causing prostate cancer to grow aggressively. It's not clear how these bacteria interact with human cells yet, so further research is needed before it becomes clear how doctors might use them as diagnostic tools or treatment options. It's important for us to note that we did not observe any correlation between microbes and either early-stage prostate cancer or benign prostate hyperplasia, Lo added.

How can I prevent these diseases?

While doctors aren’t quite sure how all these pathogens contribute to prostate cancer, they do know how you can prevent them. Make an effort to keep your immune system strong by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly. A healthier lifestyle will not only protect you from deadly diseases but can also help you live longer. Additionally, make sure that your physician is screening for common indicators of serious health problems. Taking care of yourself has never been more important than it is today—especially for men. You might have heard about women checking their breasts or getting Pap smears on a regular basis, but what about guys? Men should get screened just as much as women because there are many cancers that men can develop too.

  • Choose a healthy food plan full of fruits and greens vegetables: Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Whether you could prevent prostate cancer thru diet has yet to be conclusively proved. But eating healthy food with a lot of fruits and vegetables can enhance your overall health.
  • Choose healthy meals over supplements
  • Exercise most days of the week
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Talk to your doctor about the increased risk of prostate cancer


Certain meals may also assist reduce your chance of prostate cancer, including:

  • tomatoes
  • cruciferous green vegetables consisting of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale
  • fish
  • soy
  • oils that contain omega-3 fatty acids, consisting of olive oil

The evidence also indicates that certain meals may also increase your chance of prostate cancer, consisting of:

  • milk and dairy products
  • saturated fats, that is determined in animal products
  • red meat
  • grilled meat


Scientists have identified five specific types of bacteria that are linked to prostate cancer. This research could lead to a new, more accurate way for doctors to determine if their patients have prostate cancer, or if they’re likely candidates for developing it in the future. The study was conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and is published online today in PLOS ONE. These bacteria appear to influence prostate cancer risk by changing levels of sex hormones, said first author Laura M.