Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation.
The link between persistent inflammation and cancer was even stronger for men with so-called high-grade prostate cancer — those with a Gleason score between 7 and 10 — indicating the presence of the most aggressive and rapidly growing prostate cancers.
“What we’ve shown in this observational study is a clear association between prostate inflammation and prostate cancer, although we can’t prove that inflammation is a cause of prostate cancer,” said Elizabeth A. Platz, Sc.D., M.P.H., a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Medicine.
Cancer researcher Angelo M. De Marzo, M.D., Ph.D., cautioned that inflammation is too widespread in men to be used as a diagnostic tool for prostate cancer. However, researchers want to know more about what causes prostate inflammation, how it may contribute to prostate cancer, and whether this inflammation may be prevented. “I think there will be strategies going forward for either preventing inflammation or intervening when it occurs,” Platz said.
The findings, reported April 18 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, come from analysis of information about men in the placebo-taking group of the Southwest Oncology Group’s Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. That trial, designed to learn whether the drug finasteride could prevent prostate cancer, included biopsies for prostate cancer at the end of the study even if there were no suspicious signs of cancer such as high prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels.
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine, USA