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Cancer Agressiveness 'Triggered' By Bacteria

May 18, 2007 — New research in lymphatic cancer shows that bacteria can cause cancer to be more aggressive. Patients with skin lymphoma may benefit from antibiotic treatments used for bacteria-infections.

How does it work?

Patients with lymphatic cancer in the skin often have bacteria-infections, which shows as e.g. eczema or skin-sores. The research results indicate that bacteria can aggravate the cancer. The bacteria activates the immune system, which indirectly stimulates the cancer cells to spread further.

Professor Niels Ødum from Department of Molecular Biology, University of Copenhagen says: - The results are surprising. Further research is necessary to completely understand the mechanisms between the immune response and development of lymphatic cancer, but we know that more than half of the patients suffering from lymphatic cancer in the skin also get bacteria skin-infections. We have helped to show how these bacteria can affect the cancer disease in a negative way, and that this may be relieved by a simple antibiotic treatment.

The research was conducted by a group of researchers from University of Copenhagen, University of Pennsylvania and Copenhagen University Hospital, and is funded by The Danish Cancer Society. The results are published in  “Blood” (Journal of the American Society of Hematology). 

Source : University of Copenhagen


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