Open Letter: Richard Gallo, Professor of Dermatology UCSD
Posted 8th October 2018 by Kate Barlow
Over recent years, we have seen record numbers of skin cancer diagnoses around the world. Indeed, since the 1980s, incidences of melanoma, the deadliest form of cancer, have doubled. Melanoma is an aggressive form of cancer that can spread to other organs and is estimated it will kill 10,000 people in the US this year. Approximately 3 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year in the US.
Over the past decade the Gallo Lab at the University of California, San Diego has designed high-throughput screens to define specific bacterial gene products and metabolites that influence skin health. This approach has allowed us to identify novel anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial genes produced by specific strains of bacteria from human skin. In randomized, double blind clinical trials these strains have been very effective in treating the skin disease atopic dermatitis.
We have now found that some human skin bacteria also produce anti-cancer agents. These have been identified as strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis that have a selective capacity to inhibit the growth of cancers. This occurs because the strain produces a chemical that kills several types of cancerous cells but is not toxic to normal cells. It is exciting to find more and more evidence of the beneficial functions of the skin microbiome.
At the 6th Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum: USA, I will be discussing the way in which we have conducted a hypothesis-driven, systematic scientific approach to define and critically validate the function of specific components of the skin microbiome to treat human disease. The skin is a powerful interface for the interaction between microbes and humans, influencing both local and systemic disease.
I look forward to meeting you in San Diego.
Professor of Dermatology, UCSD
The 6th Microbiome R&D & Business Collaboration Forum 3rd Probiotics Congress: USA will take place in San Diego on October 29th-30th. Book your place today.
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