The GUT and Cancer

Surprise, surprise, what we’ve been saying for years is now being verified by “real science” – the GUT plays a huge part in cancer. Top scientists at Roche Holding AG and AstraZeneca Plc are sizing up potential allies in the fight against cancer: the trillions of bacteria that live in the human body.

“Five years ago, if you had asked me about bacteria in your gut playing an important role in your systemic immune response, I probably would have laughed it off,” Daniel Chen, head of cancer immunotherapy research at Roche’s Genentech division, said in a phone interview. “Most of us immunologists now believe that there really is an important interaction there.”

Two recent studies published in the journal Science have intrigued Chen and others who are developing medicines called immunotherapies that stimulate the body’s ability to fight tumors.

gut-bacteria

In November, University of Chicago researchers wrote that giving mice Bifidobacterium, which normally resides in the gastrointestinal tract, was as effective as an immunotherapy in controlling the growth of skin cancer. Combining the two practically eliminated tumor growth. In the second study, scientists in France found that some bacterial species activated a response to immunotherapy, which didn’t occur without the microbes.

Patients ask me, “Why are you treating my GUT when my cancer is (somewhere else)?” Our GUT controls nearly 90% of our immune response and inflammation in the GUT equals inflammation everywhere in the body.

As I’ve said for years: Ignore the GUT at your own risk!