The term microbiome is a catch all for the myriad of fungi, viruses and bacteria which live in our body. The gut microbiome is the best known, although other parts have their own inhabitants, including our skin.
Research mentioned in the video has progressed in trials. This includes fecal transplants from a patient with a healthy gut microbiome, to one seen as less healthy.
In principle, this can help their immune system respond better to cancerous tumours, control levels of inflammation and influence the outcome of certain types of treatment, especially immunotherapy.
Results to date have been promising, including on types of skin cancer which spread internally, such as melanoma. There is however much to be discovered and a quickly developing raft of misinformation regarding our skin.
Proceed With Care
We will all remember the products filling supermarket shelves and mass advertising which accompanied medical highlighting of the gut microbiome. From probiotic ice cream, to infant capsules.
Scientific testing put many products in their place but we are likely to see the same again for cosmetics. TV ads are already out, pharmaceutical chains and nationally known stores are setting out space.
Ads may give an impression that lotions can transform our skin microbiome, whereas all even good products do is avoid damaging the microbiome. Claims on some online venues of a probiotic cream to cure skin cancer are nonsense.
We have no wish to suggest that choice of cosmetics is unimportant, choosing those closer to the pH of your skin, or which don’t bring you irritation makes sense. Simply worth noting that we are seeing claims without evidence.
Recognise The Promise
Research to date on microbiome change and cancer treatment in general is still progressing. Their are positive developments but an equal amount not understood.
Specific studies on the skin microbiome are limited, yet interesting. Cancer fighting bacteria have been found in the skin microbiome, the ability to alter the microbiome make up has been established.
This holds promise for a range of skin conditions, from acne, to eczema, or psoriasis, along with types of skin cancer. Reducing risk and increasing the performance of treatment are real possibilities.
Topical probiotics as a form of skin cancer treatment may be feasible, along with changes in diet to achieve similar effects. New forms of medication may emerge, or reliable ways to transplant healthy material from a donor.
Our staff will keep a close eye on genuine research and development, just worth remembering that not everything you see fits that category.