According to a new study, common skin bacteria protect against cancer The scientists say that the surprising discovery, related to a strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis, highlights the importance of this type of microorganisms in the human body.
The bacteria can be used to prevent but also to treat various forms of cancer
Gallo and his team have published the study’s results in the journal Science Advances. The scientists described that a specific bacteria strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis secretes a chemical that eliminates harmful bacteria which have been depicted as responsible for infections.
The substances secreted by the tested strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis was not common presenting a structure very close to a main important component of the DNA, namely, adenine.
Even though the researchers couldn’t find out if the lack of this specific bacterium increases the risk of cancer development, they are very optimistic that their discovery will eventually lead to new methods of cancer prevention and even treatment in patients suffering from various forms of cancer.
“The presence of this strain may provide natural protection or could be used therapeutically to inhibit the growth of various forms of cancer,” explained Richard Gallo, a professor at the University of California San Diego and coauthor of the study.
An older study was the first to reveal that common skin bacteria protect against cancer
Rolf Lood of the University of Lund in Sweden has discovered approximately 2 years ago that a type of common skin bacteria protect against cancer because it produces a protein which can protect humans against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
The skin bacteria is called the Propionibacterium acnes and is producing a protein named RoxP which has the role to shield skin cells against what is known as oxidative stress – a condition in which the cells are damaged and can transform into cancer cells.
In conclusion, more studies have revealed that common skin bacteria protect against cancer. These studies have proven, in general, the importance of humans-bacteria symbiosis, not only in digestive-related issues but also in more complex diseases such as cancer.