26 Jun Women With Breast Cancer Have Different Bacterial Microbiome in Breasts
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Gregor Reid, B.Sc. Hons., Ph.D., MBA, ARM, CCM, Dr. HS, FCAHS
Director, Canadian Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotic Research
Lawson Health Research Institute
London, Ontario, Canada
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Women who breast feed have reduced risk of breast cancer. Human milk has bacteria passed on to the child. These bacteria reach the breast through the nipple and from the gut via the blood. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, beneficial bacteria, grow well in milk. So, I wondered what if women never lactate or breast feed, could bacteria be there? Could bacteria be in the tissue itself and influence whether you got or did not get cancer. Proving there are bacteria in the actual breast tissue itself was an interesting discovery defying previous beliefs.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Bacteria are associated with breast cancer, and have the potential to damage the host in such a way that might infect the cancer process. But, we are not showing cause and effect. Rather, raising awareness that breast health studies need to consider the bacterial composition and what they might be doing.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: A Spanish study showed that ingestion of probiotic lactobacilli can cure mastitis. In other words, the lactobacilli reached the breast. It would be worth seeing if this could also influence the breast bacterial composition in women at risk of cancer. Sampling breast exudate (rather than having to take biopsies to check for bacteria) might be worth investigating. Studying breast cancer risk in women who have repeated antibiotic doses for other reasons, may also indicate if the antibiotics are influencing which organisms are in the breast. Martin Blaser has shown a link with antibiotic use and obesity, so this one may be another example.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
The microbiota of breast tissue and its association with tumours
Camilla Urbaniak, Gregory B. Gloor , Muriel Brackstone , Leslie Scott , Mark Tangney and Gregor Reid
Posted Online 24 June 2016 Appl. Environ. Microbiol. doi:10.1128/AEM.01235-16
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