A team of research scientists at Trinity College have been awarded funding by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF)  to investigate the potential advantages of adopting a low-insulinemic diet and lifestyle as preventive measures for prostate cancer.

The most commonly inactivated tumor suppressor in prostate cancer is Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), with PTEN loss being a strong independent risk factor for metastases and death from prostate cancer. PTEN is also a critical negative regulator of insulin signaling. Diet and lifestyle-induced hyperinsulinemia has been linked with increased risk of developing prostate cancer, along with progression of established prostate cancer. As well as investigating the benefits of adopting a low-insulinemic diet the study will also assess the utility of PTEN as a biomarker to identify patients who are more likely to benefit from an insulin-lowering diet, lifestyle modifications, and statin therapy.

The expected results from the new research holds significant importance for the design of future clinical trials. Dr. Sinead Flanagan, Adjunct Assistant Professor ,Trinity College Dublin, lead investigator on the study, believes that by combining PTEN, an easily implementable biomarker, with accessible, cost-effective, and safe dietary, lifestyle, and statin interventions, patients with aggressive prostate cancer will benefit from an overall improvement in health .

Dr. Flanagan received the 2023 Rob & Cindy Citrone – PCF Young Investigator Award to support this work.

“The Prostate Cancer Foundation congratulates Dr. Flanagan and her colleagues on their research which we believe will provide further evidence of the potential benefits of diet and lifestyle-based changes in preventing the development and progression of prostate cancer,” said Howard R. Soule, PCF Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer.