Tags: prostate | cancer | std | infect | parasite

Prostate Cancer Tied to Parasitic Infection

Monday, 03 September 2012 02:44 PM

Can a sexually transmitted disease trigger prostate cancer? Researchers at Washington State University say the answer is yes, based on new research that has identified a way in which men can develop the cancer after contracting trichomoniasis, a curable but often overlooked parasitic infection.
John Alderete, a professor at WSU's School of Molecular Biosciences, said the trichomoniasis parasite activates a group of proteins that appear to be able to “switch on” prostate cancer cells – a finding he said could lead to better diagnosis and treatment.
"It's like switching a light switch on," said Alderete, who reported the findings in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens. "Then, if you don't control the brightness of that light, you can go blind. That's the problem."
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Trichomoniasis, caused by a protozoan parasite, is often referred to as the most common curable sexually transmitted infection. But most infected people have no symptoms, so it often goes untreated.
"We're going to have at least 10 million women infected this year and an equal number of men because they all get infected if they come into contact with an infected partner," Alderete said.
Past research has shown infected women have a greater risk of pregnancy complications and HIV, and has hinted that infected men have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer. But Alderete and colleagues confirmed the prostate cancer link and, for the first time, explained how it happens.
"What this is also doing is telling the world, 'People, this is a latent infection,'" he said. "You guys out there, if you've been exposed to it, you've got it in there, and we need now a diagnostic for you.”
SPECIAL: This Small Group of Doctors are Quietly Curing Cancer — Read More.

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New research finds men can develop prostate cancer after contracting a curable but often overlooked STD.
Monday, 03 September 2012 02:44 PM
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