• Women's Cancer Research Foundation

Research Breakthrough Could Protect Against Breast Cancer Progression



Scientists from England have been studying the link between antibiotic use and the speed at which mice develop breast cancer. The primary goal was to identify the relevant immune cells and potentially reverse the process. In particular, the researchers used antibiotics to investigate the medications’ impact on gut bacteria and the corresponding effect on breast cancer growth in mice.


The researchers discovered that the use of antibiotics led to the loss of a beneficial bacterial species, which ultimately accelerated breast tumor growth. They also ascertained that mast cells (white blood cells that are found in connective tissues) were found more frequently in the mice with breast cancer tumors previously treated with antibiotics.


Researchers discovered that the use of antibiotics led to the loss of a beneficial bacterial species, which ultimately accelerated breast tumor growth.

Additionally, blocking the function of these cells also reversed the effect of antibiotics and reduced the tumor growth in the mice. This research further underscores the importance a healthy gut microbiota (ecological communities of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganism) play in regulating the body's response to disease and that antibiotics play an essential role in disrupting the body’s environment.


About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of Southern California’s and the nation’s most active research organizations for female cancers. We are dedicated to serving the interests of patients, families, and friends affected by women’s cancers. WCRF partners with physician-scientists nationally to make differences in women’s lives by offering hope, strength, and progress.


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