Prostate cancer patients may one day be given a yoghurt drink alongside drugs to boost their survival chances after scientists found that bugs in the gut could drive tumour growth and make treatment less effective.
Men with advanced prostate cancer are typically given therapy to lower their levels of androgens, male hormones, which their tumours need to grow. Some patients, however, develop resistance to that treatment.
A team led by the Institute for Cancer Research has found for the first time that bacteria in their guts could be responsible, with some species providing an alternative source of the hormones.
Professor Kristian Helin, chief executive of the ICR, said: “The influence of the gut