Some "beneficial" bacteria can protect the breast cancer?
Bacteria that have the potential to promote the onset of breast cancer are present in patients of breast cancer, whereas the beneficial bacteria are most abundant in a healthy breast, where they can actually protect women from cancer, according to Gregor Reid, PhD, and his colleagues. These results may suggest ultimately, use of probiotics to protect women against breast cancer.
In the study, we analyzed breast tissue from 58 women who underwent lumpectomy or mastectomy is for a benign cancer (13 women) or cancerous (45 women), as well as from 23 healthy women who had undergone breast reductions or enhancements . It was subsequently sequenced the DNA to identify bacteria from the tissue, and have been grown to confirm that the organisms were alive.
Women with breast cancer had elevated levels of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are known to induce double-strand breaks in DNA in HeLa cells (HeLa cells are highly stabilized immortalized cancer cells, widely used in scientific research). "The double-strand breaks are the most dangerous type of DNA damage and are caused by genotoxins, reactive oxygen species, and ionizing radiation," the researchers write. The repair mechanism for this type of damage is highly prone to errors, and these errors can lead to the development of cancer.
In contrast, Lactobacillus and Streptococcus, considered the bacteria that promote health, more frequently in healthy breasts than in those cancer have been found. Both groups have anticancer properties. For example, natural killer cells are critical to control the growth of tumors, and a low level of these immune cells is associated with a higher incidence of breast cancer. Streptococcus thermophilus produces antioxidants that neutralize the reactive oxygen species, which can cause damage to DNA, and, therefore, cancer.
The motivation for the research was the knowledge that breast cancer decreases with breastfeeding. "Since human milk contains beneficial bacteria, we wondered if we could play a role in reducing the risk of cancer." But breastfeeding may not even be necessary to improve the bacterial flora of the breasts.
"Colleagues in Spain have shown that probiotic lactobacilli ingested by women can reach the mammary gland," said Reid. "Combined with our work, the question arises: Should women, particularly those at risk of breast cancer, take lactobacillus probiotics to increase the proportion of beneficial bacteria in the womb? To date, researchers have not even considered these issues, and in fact a bit 'to have doubted that there is no link between the bacteria and breast cancer or health. "
In addition to fighting cancer directly, it might be possible to increase the abundance of beneficial bacteria at the expense of harmful, through probiotics. Antibiotics that attack bacteria that promote cancer may be another option to improve breast cancer management.