HPV May Cause
Prostate Cancer

By Celia Hall
Medical Editor
The Telegraph - UK
The virus responsible for cervical cancer in women is being investigated as a cause of the rising number of cases of prostate cancer in men.
Human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection which causes more than 90 per cent of cervical cancers, is caught by men and women equally but there has been little research into HPV in men.
Tim Oliver, professor of medical oncology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, who is studying the possible link, said: "There is an almost religious conviction that HPV causes cervical cancer in women and it is clear that men and women are exposed to the virus equally. Yet there has not been much interest in HPV infection in men."
He also believes that increased levels of unprotected sex which began with the introduction of the Pill in the 1960s may account, in part, for the rise in prostate cancers 20 years later.
Prof Oliver's research, sponsored by the prostate cancer charity Orchid, has already revealed evidence of HPV in archive samples of prostate cancer tissue from the 1950s. Now he is planning a further trial which will look for HPV in prostate tissue taken at recent post mortem examinations.
The picture is complex because both HPV and prostate cancer are common. But Prof Oliver says evidence is emerging that infections of the prostate in young men may cause damage that predisposes them to cancer in later life.
"If this is the case and HPV is implicated, then the long-term goal would be the development of a male HPV vaccine programme in the future, which you would need to give to teenage boys," he said.
Dr Richard Sullivan, the head of clinical trials at Cancer Research UK, said the causes of prostate cancer needed to be understood in order to develop preventive methods.
There are more than 24,700 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the UK every year, with the disease killing 10,000 men annually.;sessionid=3RFTD



This Site Served by TheHostPros