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Good skin bacteria may help prevent cancer: study

Los Angeles: A skin bacteria - commonly found on healthy human skin - may help protect against skin cancer, scientists say.

"We have identified a strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis, common on healthy human skin, that exerts a selective ability to inhibit the growth of some cancers," said Richard Gallo, professor at University of California San Diego in the US.
"This unique strain of skin bacteria produces a chemical that kills several types of cancer cells but does not appear to be toxic to normal cells," said Gallo.
The team discovered the S epidermidis strain produces the chemical compound 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP). Mice with S epidermidis on their skin that did not make 6-HAP had many skin tumours after being exposed to cancer-causing ultraviolet rays (UV), but mice with the S epidermidis strain producing 6-HAP did not. 6-HAP is a molecule that impairs the creation of DNA, known as DNA synthesis, and prevents the spread of transformed tumour cells as well as the potential to suppress development of UV-induced skin tumours.
Mice that received intravenous injections of 6-HAP every 48 hours over a two-week period experienced no apparent toxic effects. Agencies

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