MIC faculty Melanie Rutkowski, PhD receives $450,000 grant to study how the gut biome interacts with breast cancer.

schematic drawing of gut bacteria

“One of the underlying questions about breast cancer is why do some individuals with breast cancer develop more aggressive or metastatic disease? And why is there so much variability in the context of how their immune systems respond to these cancers?” said Rutkowski, of the UVA Cancer Center and UVA’s Carter Immunology Center. “What our research is suggesting is that these microbes that live within us, when they are unbalanced, they can dramatically influence disease progression, making the tumors more aggressive and ultimately result in the inability of the immune system to eliminate the tumor.” [more]  (credits for story and image:  UVAToday, Josh Barney)