"Lady Killer" --- breast cancer is top cancer in women worldwide, the highest morbidity and mortality among female tumors (breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, endometrial cancer).
Current preventive strategies for breast cancer include drug prophylaxis and preventive mastectomy, such as the famous star Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy, but not everyone can accept this way; and drug prophylaxis is limited to ER-positive breast cancer patients, who can be recommended to use endocrine therapies for prevention, there is no recommended drug prophylaxis for other patients.
The latest study shows, in a paper published in Cell Reports, that diet especially affects the mammary gland microbiome, establishing an alternative mechanistic pathway for breast cancer prevention.
It was already known that malignant breast tumors have lower Lactobacillus abundance compared with benign lesions, implicating Lactobacillus as a negative regulator of breast cancer. Protective effects of Mediterranean diet pattern on breast cancer risk were also observed in a recent prospective cohort study. So scientists wanted to confirm that whether Mediterranean diet could increase mammary gland Lactobacillus abundance.
This study has chosen female monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) as research object, for the Macaca genus is closely related to humans, sharing a last common ancestor 25 million years ago. 40 female monkeys (M. fascicularis) were fed a Western diet or a Mediterranean diet for 31 months. The result shows that Consumption of Mediterranean diet was associated with 10-fold higher breast tissue Lactobacillus abundance, compared with a Western diet. It has been reported that oral consumption of Lactobacillus decreased triple-negative 4T1 breast cancer tumor growth in a syngeneic breast cancer model. Above all, oral probiotics may establish an alternative mechanistic pathway for breast cancer prevention.
The researchers of this project will further study the physiological effects of increased lactic acid bacteria in breast cancer tissues. They will also evaluate oral probiotics interventions such as fish oil or probiotics supplements that affect microbial populations in breast and breast tumors.
The research about these is still ongoing, and we hope this research could be applied in clinical process in the foreseeable future.
Shively C A, Register T C, Appt S E, et al. Consumption of Mediterranean versus Western diet leads to distinct mammary gland microbiome populations[J]. Cell reports, 2018, 25(1): 47-56. e3.