STUDY: Microbes forced back into lungs may lead to cancer. What does this mean for face masks?

New research from New York University brings to light a question as yet unconsidered in relation to the possible dangers of continuous wearing of face masks. To wit: could long-term face mask usage lead to cancer? We present the work of Leopoldo Segal, MD, director of the Lung Microbiome Program, and his medical research titled “Presence of microbes in the lung can modulate lung cancer pathogenesis” along with additional analysis by Lance Johnson of NaturalNews.com.


Mouth Microbes Lead to Lung Cancer? Research by NYU

Journal in Which the Study was Published: Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

Author: Leopoldo Segal, MD, director of the Lung Microbiome Program, associate professor of medicine at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, and member of NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center

Background: “The lungs were long thought to be sterile, but we now know that oral commensals–microbes normally found in the mouth–frequently enter the lungs due to unconscious aspirations,” said Segal. While many studies have demonstrated the impact of the gut microbiome on cancer, the impact of the lung cancer microbiome remains unclear.

Prior research from Segal and colleagues showed that the presence of microbes in the lung can activate the immune response, leading to the recruitment of immune cells and inflammatory proteins such as the cytokine IL-17, which has been shown to modulate lung cancer pathogenesis.

Given the known impact of IL-17 and inflammation on lung cancer, we were interested in determining if the enrichment of oral commensals in the lungs could drive an IL-17-type inflammation and influence lung cancer progression and prognosis.”

Leopoldo Segal, MD, Director of the Lung Microbiome Program and Associate Professor of Medicine, New York University Grossman School of Medicine

How the Study was Conducted and Results: In this study, Segal and colleagues analyzed the lung microbiomes of 83 untreated adult patients with lung cancer using samples obtained from diagnostic clinical bronchoscopies. Samples were analyzed to identify microbial composition and to determine which genes were expressed in lung tissue.

The researchers found that patients who had advanced-stage lung cancer (stages 3b-4) had greater enrichment of oral commensals in the lung than those who had early-stage disease (stages 1-3a). Furthermore, the enrichment of oral commensals in the lung was associated with decreased survival, even after adjusting for tumor stage.

Poor prognosis was associated with the enrichment of Veillonella, Prevotella, and Streptococcus bacteria in the lung microbiome, and tumor progression was associated with the enrichment of Veillonella, Prevotella, Streptococcus, and Rothia bacteria.

In patients with early-stage disease, enrichment of Veillonella, Prevotella, and Streptococcus was associated with activation of the p53, PI3K/PTEN, ERK, and IL-6/IL-8 signaling pathways.

A Veillonella strain, found to be enriched in patients with advanced-stage lung cancer, was associated with the expression of IL-17, cell adhesion molecules, cytokines, and growth factors, as well as with the activation of the TNF, PI3K-AKT, and JAK-STAT signaling pathways.

Segal and colleagues also examined the effects of the lung microbiome in a mouse model of lung cancer. They seeded Veillonella parvula in the lungs of mice with lung cancer to model the enrichment of oral commensals.

This led to decreased survival, weight loss, and increased tumor burden and was associated with increased expression of IL-17 and other inflammatory proteins, increased recruitment of immune-suppressing cells, and increased activation of inflammatory pathways.

To understand the role of IL-17 in lung cancer pathogenesis, Segal and colleagues treated Veillonella parvula-enriched mice with an antibody targeted to IL-17, which resulted in a significant decrease in tumor burden compared to mice treated with a control.

Author’s Comments: “Given the results of our study, it is possible that changes to the lung microbiome could be used as a biomarker to predict prognosis or to stratify patients for treatment,” said Segal. “Another exciting possibility is to target the microbiome itself or the host response to microbes as a form of cancer therapy. Our results using an antibody against IL-17 suggest that this could be an effective strategy.”

Study Limitations: A limitation of the study was that the sample size prevented additional stratification of patients into subgroups based on the treatments they received. Additionally, since the lung microbiome was only sampled prior to treatment, changes resulting from treatment could not be assessed.


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What does this mean for Face Mask Wearers?

To help us evaluate what this new cancer research may mean for people who continually wear face masks, TheEaglesWillFly.com presents the analysis by Lance Johnson of NaturalNews.com and his article “Long term mask use breeds microbes that infiltrate the lungs and contribute to advanced stage lung cancer.

A new study finds that cultivation and enrichment of microbes on the face can infiltrate the lungs through unconscious aspirations and cause inflammatory responses and advanced stage lung cancer. The nose and the mouth were designed to take in oxygen without strain, uninhibited. The oxygen travels down the trachea and splits off into two tubes called the bronchi. From there, the oxygen travels down a series of bronchioles until it reaches the alveoli, which are tiny air sacs covered with blood vessels. These air sacs take the oxygen directly to the heart, where it is dispersed throughout the body.

When a person exhales, the process is put in reverse and the lungs exhale carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide gas is the vehicle that allows the organ systems to rid the body of wastes. When this process is obstructed or restrained for prolonged periods of time, the lungs and the heart struggle to nourish the rest of the body. Long term mask wearing also hinders the body’s natural ability to detoxify wastes, creates an acidic environment, and slowly strains the organ systems throughout the body.

Masks are priming the lungs for inflammation and lung cancer pathology

A study published in the journal Cancer Discovery finds that lung cancer progresses when the lungs are forced to regurgitate microbes. Prolonged mask use creates a moist environment that cultivates microbes. This toxic environment not only forces the person to regurgitate their own wastes, but also inundates the lungs with microbes that cause a toxic environment that feeds lung cancer.

The researchers found that the lungs are not just a sterile environment. When microbes inundate the lungs, they can active an immune response. This causes inflammatory proteins such as the cytokine IL-17 to appear.

Microbes that are normally found in the mouth can make their way into the lungs. “Given the known impact of IL-17 and inflammation on lung cancer, we were interested in determining if the enrichment of oral commensals in the lungs could drive an IL-17-type inflammation and influence lung cancer progression and prognosis,” said Leopoldo Segal, Director of the Lung Microbiome Program and Associate Professor of Medicine, New York University Grossman School of Medicine.

Masks cultivate and enrich microbes that infiltrate the lungs and cause immune suppression

The research team used diagnostic clinical bronchoscopies to analyze the lung microbiomes of 83 untreated adult patients who were diagnosed with lung cancer. They identified the composition of each microbial environment and documented which genes were expressed as a result. They found that lung tissue from patients with advanced state lung cancer (stages 3b-4) was more enriched with microbes than lung tissue of patients who had early stage disease. This increased enrichment of oral bacteria in the lungs was also associated with decreased chance of survival, no matter the stage of tumors. The bacteria colonies that caused the most damage was Veillonella, Prevotella, and Streptococcus bacteria, all of which are more readily cultivated in a mask. Tumor progression was associated with the enrichment of Veillonella, Prevotella, Streptococcus, and Rothia bacteria. The cultivated microbes infiltrate the lungs and affect genetic expression, namely the p53, PI3K/PTEN, ERK, and IL-6/IL-8 signaling pathways.

In further evaluation, the cultivation of Veillonella parvula in the lungs of mice led to expression of inflammatory proteins, increased expression of IL-17, and the presence of immune suppressing cells. “Given the results of our study, it is possible that changes to the lung microbiome could be used as a biomarker to predict prognosis or to stratify patients for treatment,” said Segal. Prolonged mask wearing not only puts strain on the heart and lungs but also cultivates a microbial environment that is more likely to infiltrate the lungs and create an environment of cancer.

For more on cancer research, check out Cancer.news.

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