Two common viruses linked to human cancers are both present and may even be collaborating with each other in most male prostate cancers. New research has revealed that both the – HPV – Human Papilloma Virus and Epstein Barr Virus – EBV- are present in more than half of prostate cancers found in men, as well as in a high proportion of benign and normal prostate samples.
Major symptoms of prostate cancers are urinating much more often than normal, having a sensation that you need to urinate immediately, getting up to urinate multiple times during the night and hesitancy or difficulty in starting the urine stream, the journal The Prostate reports.
This isn’t the first time it’s been supposed that HPV might have something to do with prostate cancer, in 2003 researchers published a paper in the American Association of Cancer Research Journal CEDP outling the link. In the 2003 article researchers prophetically said that epidemiological evidence was accumulating that sexual history may be associated with prostate cancer, and some studies have suggested a relation between human papilloma virus infections and prostate cancer.
Current research by University of New South Wales, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences Associate Professor Noel Whitaker has found that HPV is present in about 40 percent of breast cancers as well. The new study found that HPV alone is present in about 70 percent of the malignant prostate cancers sampled ::::
“Our findings may well have important implications for understanding and preventing prostate cancer,” Whitaker said. “Significantly, in our prostate samples, we found a high-risk strain known as HPV 18, which is known to be associated with other human cancers. HPV 18 is a common high-risk strain and is a specific target of the Gardasil vaccine, now offered free to teenage girls to protect against cervical cancer,” Whitaker said.
EBV has also been linked to head and neck cancers, particularly in southeast Asian countries. Like HPV, it is spread mostly by close skin contact, leading it to be dubbed “the kissing disease”. While HPV has been detected before in prostate cancers, this is one of only a few, and the first in Australia, to confirm the presence of both high-risk HPV and EBV in the same cancer tissues.
RELATED: Human Papillomavirus - HPV – has been all over the medical journals and alerts of late. In the U.S. theres an epidemic going on right now, raising concerns about, well, oral sex and throat cancer. First hypothesized in 2005, a research study at the College of Malmö in Sweden suggested that performing unprotected oral sex on a person infected with HPV might increase the risk of oral cancer. The study found that 36 percent of the cancer patients had HPV compared to only 1 percent of the healthy control group :: Read the full article »»»»
A virus known to cause cancer in animals has been found in some prostate tumours and might be a cause of prostate cancer, according to US researchers. They found xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus or XMRV in more than a quarter of the human prostate tumours they looked at, especially aggressive tumours.
The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, may offer ways to better identify dangerous prostate tumours and vaccines to treat or prevent prostate cancer.
“Our analysis of 233 cases of prostate cancers and 101 benign controls showed an association of XMRV infection with prostate cancer, especially with more aggressive tumours,” write Dr Ila Singh of the University of Utah and colleagues.
Viruses have recently been found to cause some cancers, notably the human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer and some cases of penile, anal and head and neck cancers.
RELATED: In a world first, an anti-cancer vaccine usually given to high school girls will be extended to some Australian boys from next year.
Four out of five people are believed to have been exposed to human papilloma virus – HPV – which can cause genital warts and cervical cancer. Two vaccines are available to prevent infection by some HPV, Gardasil, marketed by Merck, and Cervarix, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline.
Both protect against initial infection with HPV types 16and 18 - causing around 70% cervical cancer. However, Gardasil also protects against HPV types 6 and 11 - which cause 90% of genital warts. Most importantly, the Gardasil vaccine is the only vaccine that also protects men against genital warts, throat and anal cancers :: Read the full article »»»»
A vaccine to prevent HPV infection, and hopefully reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, is in now in widespread use. The market for a vaccine to prevent prostate cancer or for better drugs to treat it could be substantial. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide after lung cancer.
According to the Australian Institute of health and Welfare, in 2006 more than 16,000 Australian men were diagnosed with prostate cancer with close to 3000 deaths recorded.
The researchers were scanning for genetic material from any viruses in prostate tumours.
“We found that XMRV was present in 27% of prostate cancers we examined and that it was associated with more aggressive tumours,” says Singh.
“We still don’t know that this virus causes cancer in people, but that is an important question we’re going to investigate.”
XMRV is a retrovirus, a type of virus that inserts its genes into the cells it infects. This will either kill the cell or turn it cancerous by affecting its genes.
Singh says she was looking to see if this might be going on with XMRV.
“Is the virus associated with cancers in tissues other than the prostate or in gynecologic malignancies? How is XMRV transmitted? These are all intriguing questions that deserve further exploration,” the researchers write.