Prostate Cancer: SPOCK 1 Gene
Now Star Trek Lovers Have a New Reason to Hate Prostate Cancer
You know those nights where you wake up at two in the morning for no apparent reason? Not even to pee? I had one of those nights on Monday, so I decided to get out of the bedroom and check my phone.
The latest news about prostate cancer put a damper on my whole night.
You remember the late Leonard Nimoy, the guy who played Spock on Star Trek the original series? Well, his name popped up in my news feed.
Scientists have their eye on a new gene that they think is one of the major genes controlling metastatic prostate cancer.
Of all things, they call it SPOCK1.
The Study Details
Why “SPOCK1”? I instantly regretted checking my phone in the middle of the night! Do these scientists have something against everyone’s favorite Vulcan? Does prostate cancer have something against everyone’s favorite Vulcan?
Well, no. As usual with prostate cancer, it’s “nothing personal.” (Cancer has no feelings.)
SPOCK1 is just a gene involved in all the wrong things: “SPARC/osteonectin, cwcv, and kazal-like domain proteoglycan 1.” Take the “SP” from SPARC, the “O” from osteonectin, the “C” from cwcv, and the “K” from “kazal” and you’ve got SPOCK.
I guess when you look at what it stands for, they had to pick a catchy name!
The study itself was a study of prostate cancer cells. After examining a bunch of different prostate cancer cell samples, the researchers found that the prostate cancer cells were expressing SPOCK1 all over the place. Significantly more SPOCK1 than you’d find in a normal cell.
This is important because it means we’re one step closer to determining CaP’s root cause.
“Expressing SPOCK1” — what does that mean?
You know that there are many sides to your personality, right? In some situations you’re quiet, in some you’re talkative, in some you’re energetic, in some you’re slow and lethargic, and so on? (I’m oversimplifying.) You know that with certain friends (coworkers, doctors, etc.), you might find that you act like a different person than with others. But it’s still you. You find these people bring out a certain side of you.
That’s basically how epigenetics works.
And just like there are those people out there (not going to name any names) who bring out the worst in you, there are internal conditions that bring out the worst in your body’s cells. Every cell has a “SPOCK1” side, it seems. Apparently it’s not good. Apparently it means prostate cancer.
The relatively new study of epigenetics (epi = Greek for “on top of”) looks at how a cell’s environment (your body and what’s around it) changes how it “expresses” its genes.
If a human being is analogous to a cell, epigenetics is like personality psychology on a microscopic scale.
What should you do?
You have probably heard me say that the point of my CaPLESS Method is to “create a microenvironment that is hostile to cancer cells.” This is all about epigenetics—making lifestyle choices that bring out your cells’ “best side.”
Although I can’t tell you how to turn on and off your SPOCK1 genes (I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for the follow-up study), there are many things you can do every day to get the best out of your genes. These include:
- cutting out processed foods
- getting regular vigorous exercise (at least 30 minutes per day)
- minimizing added sugar
- getting enough sleep
- learning how to manage stress
In my book Thrive Don’t Only Survive, I explain why all of these factors are so important to thriving before and after a prostate cancer diagnosis. The 21-day reset is what I recommend to anyone who wants to jumpstart a more healthy lifestyle.
The Bottom Line
Don’t lose sleep over SPOCK1. Do make sure you’re eating right, exercising regularly, resting, and relaxing to bring out your best genes.