Chronic inflammation is suspected to play a role in numerous diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and cancer. If this is the case, then could reducing chronic inflammation by dietary means reduce the incidence of prostate cancer for example? This question is being studied extensively and is the focus of an article in the December 20th issue of the Prostate Cancer Foundation NewsPulse. Researchers at Johns Hopkins are studying prostate cells as they transition from normal to pre-cancerous and finally to cancerous. They speculate that inflammation may be an early factor inducing healthy prostate epithelial cells into the cancerous cycle. Since obesity is already linked to an increase risk of death from prostate cancer, could an anti-inflammatory diet have an effect on the incidence and severity of prostate cancer? A diet similar to the Mediterranean diet may be of help and is described in the NewsPulse article. Helpful foods include whole grains, healthy fats (as opposed to animal or trans fats), fruits and vegetables, spices such as ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and curcumin, green or oolong tea, nuts such as walnuts, oil-based salad dressing, omega-3 fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or flaxseed (as opposed to fish such as salmon), and others in the PCF article. While the anti-inflammatory diet includes many foods that may have health benefits for men with prostate cancer, further research is needed into specific components and the dietary patterns as a whole in order to assess how this diet may affect men with prostate cancer. As always, be advised to consult with your medical professional.
A second major story in this year-end issue of the PCF NewsPulse cites the FDA approval in spring, 2013 of Xofigo, radium-223-chloride, also known as alpharadin for the treatment of men with advanced metastatic prostate cancer. Xofigo extends survival, improves quality of life, requires less opioid medication for bone pain and its resulting side effects, and reduces complications such as spinal cord compression and bone fractures which result from bone tumors. Additional information is available in the accompanying article. This website has also posted information on this agent in previous blogs dated November 5th, 2011, January 3rd, 2012, April 28th, 2012 and June 3rd, 2013.
The third article from NewsPulse provides an excellent summary of a number genes and their proposed involvement in prostate cancer. Specific genes include HOXB13 (associated with hereditary prostate cancer), the female breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, the fused genes TMPRSS2-ERG and others. This review would be useful for physicians as well as laymen.