LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) - Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine believe a beneficial bacteria could prevent skin cancer.
Staphylococcus epidermis, which is common on healthy skin, has a selective ability to inhibit the growth of some cancers, according to Richard Gallo, MD, PhD, and chair of the Department of Dermatology.
“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.
Researchers discovered the bacteria strain produces a chemical compound which, in testing, showed signs of protection against cancer-causing ultraviolet rays.
More than 1 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, according to UC San Diego School of Medicine. More than 95 percent of these are non-melanoma skin cancer, which is typically caused by overexposure to the sun’s UV rays.