Skin Microbiome May Protect Against Skin Cancer

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, March 5, 2018

“We have identified a strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis, common on healthy human skin, that exerts a selective ability to inhibit the growth of some cancers,” says Richard Gallo, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in a news release. “This unique strain of skin bacteria produces a chemical that kills several types of cancer cells but does not appear to be toxic to normal cells.”

The University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers discovered the S. epidermidis strain produces the chemical compound 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP). Mice with S. epidermidis on their skin that did not make 6-HAP had many skin tumors after being exposed to cancer-causing ultraviolet rays (UV), but mice with the S. epidermidis strain producing 6-HAP did not.
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