What is the role of energy consumption in the etiology of prostate cancer?

Updated: Oct 11, 2019
  • Author: Mark A Moyad, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Total energy consumption may be another important factor in the development of prostate cancer. Excessive caloric intake, regardless of its source, may lead to obesity, which correlates with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Mukherjee et al demonstrated that in castrated and noncastrated mice, regardless of castration (which alone diminishes cancer growth), all of the groups in which energy intake was restricted developed cancers that were smaller and slower growing, had decreased microvessel density, and had a decreased cell-proliferation index. [35] In this study, cancer cells from the Dunning R3327-H and from LNCaP were transplanted into severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Diet was not restricted in one group. A second group was castrated and subdivided into 2 subgroups—one with an energy-intake restriction of 20% and one with a restriction of 40%. Finally, another group was not castrated but had caloric restriction.

On the basis of the results of a transgenic mouse model, Huffman et al concluded that the ability of caloric restriction to inhibit cancer development and progression is partially mediated by changes in energy balance, body mass, and body composition rather than just caloric intake. [36] This implies that the risk of developing prostate cancer depends more on excess caloric retention, which leads to obesity, rather than just excessive caloric consumption.

Although these data are compelling in animal models that can be carefully controlled, whether similar results can be expected in humans is unknown. However, the favorable data from cardiovascular research suggests that using reduced total energy consumption to maintain or achieve a healthy weight would provide significant value.


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