Breast cancer linked to bacteria

Tuesday, 24 Oct, 2017

She hopes that discoveries made in this research will someday lead to better and less harsh treatments for breast cancer, for instance, treating people with a targeted probiotic instead of chemotherapy.

This aggressive form of breast cancer is less common - affecting about 20 to 30 per cent of all breast cancer patients - but little has been known about its causes, says Ass Prof Milne.

She collaborated with scientists from 300 research institutions worldwide on the research to be published today in the journals Nature and Nature Genetics. If their theory is proven, it may explain why the majority of breast cancers have no genetic ties.

The new discoveries add to previous research, bringing the total number of known genetic patterns associated with breast cancer to almost 180.

Since testing for breast bacteria is not at a point where that can be translated into a diagnostic test or treatment, it's important for all women to get regular mammograms - even if you don't have a family history of breast cancer or any of the breast cancer genes.

Susan G. Komen has invested more than $920 million to support pioneering research around the world since its founding in 1982. Larger differences in risk can be found if the genetic variants are combined with other hormonal and lifestyle factors that influence breast cancer risk. "Our interest, then, is to understand how they influence cancer".

'A better understanding of the biological basis of oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancer could lead to more effective preventative interventions and treatments, ' he said. As well as identifying new genetic variants, we have also confirmed many that we had previously suspected. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the US, affecting one in every eight women.

A surprising connection has been discovered between breast cancer and bacterium. "Those metabolic products actually have immune regulatory activity".

"This is a pilot study", Dr. Charis Eng from the Cleveland Clinic said, "that looked at breast cancers and non-cancerous breast tissues. This should provide guidance for a lot of future research".

Others, known as oestrogen-receptor negative, are not affected by the hormone and are more hard to treat.

"Having a diagnosis of breast cancer is distressing for the patient and for their families, too", said Mr Ostrowski.

The risk variants identified in the two studies are common: while some are carried by one woman in a hundred, others are carried by more half of all women.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of the charity Breast Cancer Now, said: 'This is another exciting step forward in our understanding of the genetic causes of breast cancer. Individually, the risks conferred by each variant are modest; however, because they are common and their effects multiply together, the combined effect is considerable.

"These women may benefit from more intensive screening, starting at a younger age, or using more sensitive screening techniques, allowing early detection and prevention of the disease".

"If we look at women in the top 1 per cent, so those with the most number of genetic markers, they have about a threefold increased risk of getting breast cancer over the general population", Professor Chenevix-Trench said.