In addition to the article on pretreatment testosterone levels and prostate cancer survival (see separate commentary), there are just three other reports in this weekend’s early news:
Sutcliffe et al. have investigated the possibility of a relationship between a history of infection with Trichomonas vaginalis (a sexually transmited protozoan organism) and prostate cancer risk. In an analysis of data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, this group of researchers had previously shown an apparent connection between prior infection and risk for prostate cancer. They therefore conducted a second, prospective investigation of trichomonosis and prostate cancer in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. However, in this second study there was no sign of any association between T. vaginalis serostatus and prostate cancer: 21.5 percent of cases and 24.8 percent of controls had low seropositivity, and 15.2 percent of cases and 15.0 percent of controls had high seropositivity. The authors suggest that “given the original strong biologic rationale and potential for prevention, additional studies are warranted to help resolve discrepancies between study findings and to further investigate this hypothesis from a variety of different approaches.”
A naturally occurring protein called δ-catenin (which is normally and primarily expressed in the brain) has been known to be upregulated in human prostatic adenocarcinomas. It has been unclear to date whether δ-catenin has any potential in prostate cancer screening because it is an intracellular protein. Lu et al. identified δ-catenin in culture media and in the stroma of human prostate cancer tissues. δ-Catenin immunoreactivity was significantly increased in the urine of prostate cancer patients (P < 0.0005). The authors conclude that extracellular accumulation of δ-catenin in urine supports its possible value as a marker for the early development of non-invasive prostate cancer.
An Israeli research group appears to have suggested that certain medicinal mushrooms (e.g., Ganoderma lucidum or lingzhi) may have value in the treatment of later stages of prostate cancer. However, the abstract of the paper provides no supporting justification for this argument, so we have no way to assess the validity of the hypothesis.