FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) — Candidate genes and in vivo pathways that are upregulated in men with prostate cancer who engage in at least three hours per week of vigorous physical activity have been identified, according to a study presented at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held from Feb. 2 to 4 in San Francisco.
Mark Jesus Mendoza Magbanua, Ph.D., of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the correlation between physical activity and gene expression patterns in 70 men with low-risk prostate cancer. Of these, 23 reported participating in at least three hours of vigorous physical activity each week. Differential expression and pathway analyses were performed using Significance Analysis of Microarrays, and were compared between the groups.
The researchers detected 184 significant genes that were expressed differently in men who performed at least three hours per week of vigorous physical activity compared with those who did not. BRCA1 and BRCA2 were upregulated in men who participated in vigorous exercise. In addition, cell cycle and DNA repair pathways were positively modulated in these men. The duration of vigorous physical activity was important, with no significant differences noted in gene expression when comparing men who participated in any vigorous activity versus those who did not.
“These preliminary data suggest that DNA repair in the prostate gland is one mechanism through which vigorous physical activity may protect against prostate cancer progression, and there are potentially more,” a coauthor said in a statement. “If our findings are substantiated, and we can determine which molecular differences really matter for disease recurrence, then these signals could be used to improve monitoring of prostate cancer and its response to any intervention.”