Scientists show how bacteria help tumors overcome immune defenses and metastasize

(ORDO NEWS) — Cancer has its own microflora, and they work in close alliance. Experiments have confirmed that bacteria reduce the activity of lymphocytes attacking the tumor and stimulate its spread throughout the body.

Until recently, it was believed that malignant tumors are sterile. However, in recent years, scientists have found that, like a healthy organism, they are inhabited by their own communities of bacteria and even fungi.

Often microbes act as allies of the disease, helping cancer cells escape from the immune system

Since different types of bacteria are characteristic of different types of tumors, it is known that their analysis can become a new tool for diagnosing cancer.

And the use of antibiotics helps in the fight against cancer by suppressing the activity of tumor microflora.

However, it is still unclear how exactly it interacts with the tumor and contributes to its survival. Susan Bullman and her colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are doing just that.

The scientists examined 19 tumor samples from the colon and eight from the oral cavity. It turned out that bacteria colonize only certain areas of tumors, in which an increased amount of proteins that suppress the activity of T-lymphocytes is found.

And if in those parts where there are no microbes, lymphocytes are found in abundance, then in the presence of bacteria they are practically absent.

Treponema and Fusobacterium show this effect especially brightly. This was also confirmed by in vitro experiments with cell cultures that serve as models for the development of cancer.

If they were grown together with Fusobacterium , then tumor cells easily left their neighbors and migrated outside, which is a sign of metastasis. It turns out that bacteria help cancer not only avoid attacks by the immune system, but also spread throughout the body.

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