TLR5 Polymorphism Enhances Luminal Breast Cancer Progression

TLR5 Polymorphism Enhances Luminal Breast Cancer Progression
shutterstock_214055650Certain common DNA variations, called polymorphisms, can determine how tumor progression evolves in breast cancer and other types of cancers, including ovarian cancer. Researchers at The Wistar Institute, led by José Conejo-Garcia, MD, PhD, determined that a polymorphism that occurs in 7.5% of the general population--one in fifteen people--affects Toll-like receptor (TLR) genes and makes individuals more susceptible to compromised immunity against cancer. "Our research indicates that interactions between the helpful bacteria in our bodies and immune cells at places situated away from tumors influence systemic responses in the host that alter how these tumors are able to progress," said Dr. Conejo-Garcia in a news release from The Wistar Institute. Apparently, there is an explicit relationship between the trillions of bacteria that colonize humans and tumor progression. The "good" bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts and the skin are not only a first line of defense against infection, but also an important defense against tumors outside the intestines. Dr. Conejo-Garcia's work focused specifically on TLRs. In order for a hosts' immune system to recognize invaders, human cells use TLRs to find pathogen-associated
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