Fungi grow inside cancerous tumors, scientists discover


In the tumors of patients with various malignancies, including breast, colon, pancreatic, and lung cancers, researchers found signs of fungus. It's still unclear, though, if these fungi contribute in any way to the onset or spread of cancer.

DNA from fungal cells lurking in tumors all throughout the body was discovered by two recent investigations, both of which were published on September 29 in the journal Cell. In one study, researchers looked at more than 17,000 tissue, blood, and plasma samples from cancer patients to look for the genetic fingerprints of fungus in 35 distinct cancer types. Despite the fact that not all tumor tissue samples tested positive for fungal, the scientists did discover fungi in all 35 cancer types examined.

According to co-senior author Ravid Straussman, a cancer biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, "some tumors had no fungi at all, and some had a huge amount of fungi." However, most of the time when tumors did contain fungi, they did so in "low abundances," the team noted in their report.

Straussman calculated that certain cancers have one fungus cell for every 1,000 to 10,000 cancer cells based on the quantity of fungal DNA his team discovered. You may imagine that fungus may "have a huge influence on cancer biology" if you take into account the fact that a tiny tumor can contain up to a billion cancer cells.

According to research by Straussman and his team, each form of cancer has a tendency to be linked to a certain group of fungus. These fungi include those that are normally innocuous and are known to dwell in people as well as some that can cause illnesses like yeast infections. These fungi, in turn, frequently coexisted with specific bacteria within the tumor. It is yet unknown if or how these bacteria interact within the tumor or whether doing so aids in the progression of the malignancy.

Similar findings were found in the second Cell research, which was more narrowly focused on gastrointestinal, lung, and breast malignancies (opens in new tab), according to Nature (opens in new tab). The study's findings revealed that each of these three cancer forms had a propensity to harbor the fungi Candida, Blastomyces, and Malassezia.

Both study teams discovered signs that the development of certain fungus may be connected to a poorer prognosis for cancer. For instance, Straussman's team discovered that patients with breast cancer who had the fungus Malassezia globosa in their tumors had lower survival rates than those whose tumors were free of the fungus. The second team, led by immunologist Iliyan Iliev at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, discovered that patients with gastrointestinal tumors that contained a relatively high amount of Candida displayed elevated gene activity linked to widespread inflammation, cancer progression, and poor survival rates, according to a report in Nature.

Despite these preliminary indications, neither research can conclusively state whether fungus truly cause these unfavorable outcomes or if aggressive malignancies just foster an environment in which these fungi may flourish. Additionally, the research do not examine whether fungus may promote the growth of cancer by inducing healthy cells to become malignant.

Both studies have comparable restrictions. Ami Bhatt, a microbiome expert at Stanford University in California, told Nature that both studies, for instance, extracted tissue and blood samples from existing databases, and it's plausible that some samples may have been contaminated with fungal during the collecting process. Both research teams made considerable effort to remove these pollutants, but Bhatt stated that it would be ideal if the findings could be duplicated using samples collected in a sterile setting.

The mycobiota, or populations of bacteria linked to malignancies, will be the subject of future research, according to Straussman, who spoke with STAT. He declared, "As a field, we need to assess what we know about cancer. "Everything should be seen through the lens of the microbiome, including bacteria, fungus, cancers, and even viruses. All of these animals are present inside the tumor, thus they must have an impact."

Fungi grow inside cancerous tumors, scientists discover Fungi grow inside cancerous tumors, scientists discover Reviewed by Blogger on October 07, 2022 Rating: 5
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