Beneficial bacteria may protect breasts from cancer
Bacteria that have the potential to abet breast cancer are present in the breasts of cancer patients, while beneficial bacteria are more abundant in healthy breasts, where they may actually be protecting women from cancer, according to Gregor Reid, PhD, and his collaborators. These findings may lead ultimately to the use of probiotics to protect women against breast cancer. The research is published in the ahead of print June 24 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. In the study, Reid's PhD student Camilla Urbaniak obtained breast tissues from 58 women who were undergoing lumpectomies or mastectomies for either benign (13 women) or cancerous (45 women) tumors, as well as from 23 healthy women who had undergone breast reductions or enhancements. They used DNA sequencing to identify bacteria from the tissues, and culturing to confirm that the organisms were alive. Reid is Professor of Surgery, and Microbiology & Immunology at Western University and Director, Canadian Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotic Research at Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, Canada.
Vitamin D sufficiency linked to better pancreatic cancer survival
Survival is improved in pancreatic cancer patients with sufficient versus deficient plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], as assessed prior to diagnosis. These findings indicate that "prediagnostic plasma 25(OH)D is a prognostic factor in patients with pancreatic cancer", say researchers whose study population was drawn from five prospective US cohorts, including the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses' Health Study.
Among 493 patients diagnosed between 1984 and 2008, those with sufficient (≥30 ng/mL) and relatively insufficient (20 to <30 ng/mL) 25(OH)D levels had a significant 34% and 21% reduced risk of death, respectively, relative to participants who were vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/mL).