MIAMI – Investigators at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered that abnormal conditions in the vaginal microbiome may lead to and worsen endometrial cancer.
Microbiome is the combination of bacteria, viruses and fungus that live throughout our bodies.
“We collected, prospectively, samples of the microbiome in women who were diagnosed with endometrial cancer as well as women who were undergoing surgery for benign gynecological conditions like pelvic pain or fibroids to see if there was going to be any difference, and what we ended up finding is that the vaginal microbiome, specifically the bacteria in the vagina, can predict not just the type of endometrial cancer a woman had but the grade of endometrial cancer and the grade is how aggressive the tumor is,” said Dr. Matthew Schlumbrecht, Senior Study Author and a professor at the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Services at the Miller School of Medicine.
Unique to this study was that researchers looked at the genetic signatures of every microbe in the vagina.
Previous studies have only looked at one specific bacteria.
Research continues, with the hopes of developing an inexpensive and effective screening test for endometrial cancer.
And with healthcare workers at increased risk for contracting COVID, another set of researchers set out to determine how different types of masks affect that risk.
This study, published in JAMA Open Network, found that among the healthcare workers exposed to patients with COVID, 21 percent using respirator masks became infected.
The rate of infection was 35 percent among those using surgical masks alone or with shields.
The study concluded that the odds of infection were reduced by more than 40 percent among workers using respirator masks.