Certain Skin Bacteria Found to Have Protective Anti-Cancer Properties


Skin Bacteria & Cancer

skin bacteria

New studies are showing that some bacteria in the skin have the potential to protect against skin cancer.

A strain of S. epidermidis was revealed to produce a molecule that stops the growth of skin tumor on mice by killing cancer cells.

According to a study published on February 28, the skin microbiome has been discovered to possess protective qualities. Researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine are eager to report that select skin bacteria have the potential to protect against skin cancer.

The S. epidermidis strain has been discovered to produce the chemical compound 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine.

6-HAP has the potential to suppress the development of UV-induced skin tumors. It debilitates the creation of DNA and averts the spread of transformed tumor cells.

For instance, UV tests have been done on two sets of mice. Both sets had the S. epidermidis but only one set produced 6-HAP. The set of mice that did not produce 6-HAP ended up with skin tumors while the set that did remained unharmed.

Toxic effects have not been observed in mice that received intravenous injections of 6-HAP for two weeks, every 2 days. However, their tumor size was suppressed by more than 50 percent when transplanted with melanoma cells.

The production of 6-HAP still needs to be studied, according to Gallo. Can 6-HAP reliably be used to combat cancer? Does the absence of 6-HAP increase cancer risk?

The evidence is mounting in regards to the skin microbiome and its significance to human health. The most severe form of skin cancer is melanoma, but of the 1 million skin cancer cases diagnosed in the US each year, about 95 percent are non-melanoma. Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays is typically the primary cause of non-melanoma skin cancer.