Breast milk breakthroughs: Breast milk components proven to kill over 40 kinds of cancer

Baar/Bologna, 17 February 2017. Breast milk components can kill cancer cells? This and other revolutionary research in breastfeeding and human milk will be explored in depth, as nine of the most renowned international researchers convene in Florence, Italy, on 7 - 8 April 2017 for the 12th International Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium. Why is nutrition only the tip of the iceberg where breast milk is concerned? What kind of impact does breastfeeding have on facial structure development? How does parental contact in the neonatal intensive care unit save lives and lay the foundation for lifelong social health? Certified healthcare professionals, international NGO leaders, and media are invited to be the first to hear the answers to these questions and more.
Catharina Svanborg

The possibility of killing cancer cells, from the laboratory to the infant's stomach, is one of the most promising developments in human milk research this year. Oleic acid (the same fat in olive oil and human milk) and α-Lactalbumin (also in human milk) combine to form a complex proven to kill over 40 different kinds of lymphoma and carcinoma cells in the laboratory, including brain tumours, bladder cancer, colon cancer and skin growths. Indications are that when breast milk reaches the lining of the infant stomach, HAMLET forms, potentially conferring a degree of protection on the breastfed infant. Catharina Svanborg, MD, PhD, award-winning Professor of Clinical Immunology at Lund University, Sweden and Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, presents the cancer prevention potential of breastfeeding, and explores the hope HAMLET may even offer to adult cancer victims.

"Who would have thought that breast milk had the potential to kill cancer cells? That is only one of the discoveries likely to astonish this year's expert audience. We are on the cusp of a golden age for research in human milk. It is an infinitely complex fluid, and intensive, multidisciplinary studies, utilising cutting-edge techniques, have only been employed in this field the past decade." explains Dr. Leon Mitoulas, Scientific Director of the symposium.

"This year's symposium offers a wealth of new insights into the vast spectrum of human milk components, and it illuminates how much greater the impact of breastfeeding and breast milk feeding is for infants than we previously imagined. Bringing the latest findings to practicing doctors, nurses, and midwives arms them with advanced knowledge and methods that have the potential to save lives in critical cases, and to give infants everywhere the best chance of long, healthy lives. Beyond that, the exchange of cutting-edge research stimulates new ideas and the next frontier of discoveries and human milk advocacy."

Registration for healthcare professionals

Healthcare professionals can register for the symposium and find detailed programme information and speaker abstracts here:

Registration for journalists

Pre-symposium Media Conference, 7 April. Journalists are offered an early opportunity to speak to all nine speakers at the media breakfast. Then, at the media conference, an overview of each speaker's academic presentation will be offered, followed by a Q&A.

9:30am - 10:25am Media breakfast
10:30am - 11:30am Media conference with webcast

Journalists may register to participate in the media breakfast and conference, the full symposium programme, or for remote live access to the media conference and two speaker focus sessions:

About Medela

Founded in 1961 by Olle Larsson and headquartered in Switzerland, Medela today is led by his son Michael Larsson. Medela concentrates on two business units: "Human Milk", the leader in the development and production of breast milk feeding products and solutions, and "Healthcare", which engineers and manufactures highly innovative medical vacuum technology solutions. Medela conducts basic research in partnership with leading scientists, medical professionals and universities, and uses the research results in the development of its breastfeeding products and solutions. Medela has 18 subsidiaries in Europe, North America and Asia, and together with independent partners distributes its products in more than 100 countries. As of 31 December 2016, the company has a staff of 1,740 worldwide, 440 of whom are located in the Canton of Zug, Switzerland.