Researchers at the Center for Research in Health Technologies and Services in Porto are part of an “innovative” project that aims to “provide an integrated response in the fight against prostate cancer and to “bridging the gaps” in terms of prevention and treatment. Speaking to Lusa, Acácio Rodrigues, researcher at the Research Center explained In Health Technologies and Services (CINTESIS), in Porto, states that the project, entitled “SexHealth & ProstateCancer”, aims to “fill the many gaps” in the field of prostate cancer, that is, in terms of methods of prevention, treatment and promotion of health and quality of life for men with this cancer.
Funded over €499,000 by the European Fund for Regional Development (FEDER), under the Norte 2020 programme, the project also includes researchers from the Center for Psychology of the University of Porto (CPUP). “It’s an innovative project because we’re bringing together people associated with laboratory and clinical research, with a microbiology component, and people associated with psychology,” said Akacio Rodriguez, who is also a professor at the University of Porto School of Medicine (FMUP). .
Stemming from a psychosocial approach, the researchers intend to contribute “in a pioneering manner to scientific and clinical development” in different regions and to respond “to a major health problem observed in the Nordic region and on a global scale, namely, the increasing prevalence of prostate cancer.”
“The incidence of prostate cancer is increasing in percentage because, fortunately, the incidence of lung cancer has decreased a little bit (at least in countries where tobacco consumption is low). So, as life expectancy increases, prostate cancer tends to be biologically deterministic,” Akashio Rodriguez said.
The project, with a total investment of 588 thousand euros, is based on various lines of research, one of which aims to determine whether sexually transmitted diseases caused by infectious agents can contribute to the development of prostate cancer cells. Another line of research is based on gathering information about risk and protective factors that affect the mental and sexual health of men with prostate cancer, such as impotence or risky sexual behavior.
The group coordinator said: “It is clear that a man, whether he is working or not, suffers from several disorders and some of them are sexual even for physiological reasons and this has a very big impact on people’s lives, mental health and well-being.” MicroMed Research Program, from CINTESIS. Using a sample of “one hundred patients” from Hospital de São João, Hospital Santo Antonio and Hospital de Braga, the researchers will also look for biomarkers involved in the development of prostate cancer.
The aim is to allow the development of “new diagnostic tools and innovative personalized therapies”. In addition to these lines of research, the project also aims to enhance scientific publishing procedures and contribute to and translate scientific knowledge into the practical field of cancer prevention and treatment.
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