In today's post, we highlight an article we previously mentioned on our social media platforms about bacteria and skin cancer. This article comes from the journal, ScienceAdvances with work out of the University of California San Diego.
The research group was able to show that certain types of bacteria that grow on your skin, in this case, a strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis, can actually help prevent types of skin cancer. The bacteria does this by producing a compound called 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP). 6-HAP inhibits DNA polymerase activity, which is how new molecules of DNA are formed. In the case of someone or something with cancer, stopping the formation of new DNA molecules can help to stop the spread of cancerous tumour cells to other parts of the body.
In the experiment, the researchers found that when mice were transplanted with melanoma tumour cells and given injections of 6-HAP, the tumour growth was suppressed with no evident toxic side effects over the course of 6 weeks. More research is needed, but this could lead to some new and exciting cancer treatments in the future!