A number of links between the bacteria living in our gut and cancer have been discovered in recent years. From increasing one's risk for bowel cancer to influencing the severity of chemotherapy side effects, researchers are only just beginning to delve into this complex relationship.
This new research focused on a common prostate cancer treatment called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Androgens are male hormones and cancerous cells in the prostate require these hormones to grow. So depriving a body of androgens can slow the growth, or even in some cases shrink, prostate tumors.
"The influence of the gut microbiome on cancer is a fascinating new area of science that we are just beginning to understand," says Kristian Helin, from the Institute of Cancer Research in London. "These exciting findings are the first to unveil a mechanism through which the gut microbiome can drive prostate cancer growth and resistance to hormone therapy."