Skin-dwelling bacteria may help prevent skin cancer by prevailing uncontrolled growth of cells, according to the new discovery published by the Science Advances in the issue of February 28, Wednesday.

A team of scientists at the University of California in San Diego has revealed this surprising discovery that someday could lead to develop drugs able to treat or prevent skin cancer. Study’s co-author, Dr. Richard Gallo explained that, “Everyone has some strains of this bacterial species. About 20 percent seem to have this particular strain. Still, the revelation that it engages in anti-cancer activity is entirely new.”

The researchers informed that a specific bacterial strain known as Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria, which lives on human skin harmlessly and prevents tumor cells from growing, which are caused by over exposing to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun.


Dr. Gallo with his colleagues also reported that the S. epidermidis produce a compound called as 6-N hydroxyaminopurine or shortly 6-HAP, which appears like one of the DNA’s building blocks. Except curing and preventing skin cancer tumors, 6-HAP is also capable of blocking DNA synthesis in the lymphoma cells that cancerous immune system cells.

Co-program leader and professor of microenvironment, metastasis and immunology, Ashani Weeraratna from the Wistar Institute’s Melanoma Research Center, Philadelphia stated that, “It’s clear that an understanding of the microbiome — the bacterial landscape, so to speak — is critical to harness the full potential of some of the outstanding immunotherapy we have available to treat cancers, like melanoma.”