Tuesday January 21, 2020

Men with Higher Levels of Hormones in Blood Face Higher Risk of Prostate Cancer

The study was presented at 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference in London

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A subset of 9,000 men gave a second blood sample at a later date, to help the researchers account for natural fluctuations in the hormone levels. Pixabay

Men with higher levels of testosterone and a growth hormone in their blood are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to a new study.

A research of more than 200,000 men is one of the first to show strong evidence of two factors that could possibly be modified to reduce prostate cancer risk.

“Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men worldwide after lung cancer and a leading cause of cancer deaths. But, there is no evidence-based advice that we can give to men to reduce their risk,” said study lead author Ruth Travis, Associate Professor, University of Oxford, the UK.

“We were interested in studying the levels of two hormones circulating in the blood because previous research suggests they could be linked with prostate cancer and because these are factors that could potentially be altered in an attempt to reduce prostate cancer risk,” Travis added.

The researchers studied 200,452 men who are part of the UK Biobank project. All were free of cancer when they joined the study and were not taking any hormone therapy.

The men gave blood samples that were tested for their levels of testosterone and a growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I).

The researchers calculated the levels of free testosterone which is circulating in the blood and not bound to any other molecule and can therefore have an effect in the body.

A subset of 9,000 men gave a second blood sample at a later date, to help the researchers account for natural fluctuations in the hormone levels.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

The men were followed for an average of six to seven years to see if they went on to develop prostate cancer. Within the group, there were 5,412 cases and 296 deaths from the disease.

The researchers found that men with higher concentrations of the two hormones in their blood were more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

For every increase of five nanomoles in the concentration of IGF-I per litre of blood (5 nmol/L), men were nine per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer.

For every increase of 50 picomoles of testosterone per litre of blood (50 pmol/L), there was a 10 per cent increase in prostate cancer risk.

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According to the researchers, 25 per cent greater risk in men who have the highest levels of IGF-I, compared to those with the lowest.

Men with the highest testosterone levels face an 18 per cent greater risk of prostate cancer, compared to those with the lowest levels.

“This type of study can’t tell us why these factors are linked, but we know that testosterone plays a role in the normal growth and function of the prostate and that IGF-I has a role in stimulating the growth of cells in our bodies,” Travis said.

The study was presented at 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference in London. (IANS)

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Males Have Higher Risk of Suffering from Cancer: Study

Researchers explain why cancer risk is higher in males

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DNA differences between men and women may explain why cancer risk is higher in males. Pixabay

DNA differences between men and women may explain why cancer risk is higher in males, according to a new study.

In findings published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers have reported that loss of function in certain genes of the sex-determining Y chromosome, which is present only in men, may cause them to have an elevated risk for cancer.

Using data from 9,000 individuals, the researchers studied Y-chromosome gene function in patients with various types of cancer. The findings showed that cancer risk increases with loss of function of six key Y-chromosome genes in various types of cells.

“Recent studies have shown that complete loss of the Y chromosome, which is essential to foetal sex differentiation, occurs, with aging, in the cells of some men,” said study author Juan Ramon Gonzalez from Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain.

Cancer DNA
Suppression of the Y chromosome can occur as a result of loss of function in the chromosome. Pixabay

“Although the loss of the Y chromosome has previously been associated with higher incidence of cancer, the causes of this association are poorly understood,” Gonzalez added.

These six Y-chromosome genes are involved in cell-cycle regulation, the failure of which can lead to tumour development.

According to the study, understanding the biological differences between men and women in cancer is crucial for the development of personalised lines of treatment and prevention.

“Men are not only at higher risk of cancer than women, they also face a worse prognosis. In fact, these differences partially account for the lower life expectancy of men,” Gonzalez added.

According to the researchers, although men may be more exposed to carcinogens due to the type of work they do and at higher risk because they are less likely to consult a doctor, the study has shown that there are also biological factors that increase cancer risk among men.

“In fact, it seems that one of these factors can be found in the Y chromosome, the very essence of maleness,” said study lead author Alejandro Caceres.

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Suppression of the Y chromosome can occur as a result of loss of function in the chromosome, which would explain previous findings, or as a result of other mechanisms mediated by the chemical (epigenetic) inactivation of the same regions, the research said.

“Certain environmental exposures, for example to tobacco or other harmful substances, could affect chromosome function and lead to epigenetic modifications,” Gonzalez said. (IANS)