Microbiome and Cancer

Demystifying the Influence of the Microbiome

While it is known that every niche in our bodies has a unique microbiome, the influence of the microbiome on human development, physiology, immunity and nutrition is just now being realized. Research in this rapidly emerging area shows that the microbiome can affect the host immune system positively and negatively, and an imbalance in this delicate invisible ecosystem can lead to disease – including cancer.

In this regard, infectious agents are the third leading cause of cancer, right behind tobacco use and obesity.  For example, human papillomavirus, a widespread infectious agent, is known to be associated with various cancers.  Furthermore, there are other viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, worms and flukes which have been shown to be associated with cancer as direct contributors or agents that can potentiate the development of cancer.

99% of the DNA in the human body is microbial DNA, not human DNA

Infectious Agents Linked to Cancers


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
Human papillomavirus types 16, 18, and others (HPV)
Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8 (KSHV)
Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV 1)
Human T-cell lymphotrophic virus 1 (HTLV 1)
Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV)

Schistosoma haematobium
Opisthorchis viverrini

Helicobacter pylori
Chlamydia trachomatis

How Microorganisms might be specifically associated with cancers

Onco-potentiating: Provides one step in a multi-step transformation process
Onco-modulating: Provided new capabilities that make a tumor cell more malignant

Tumor microenvironment may be the perfect niche for microorganisms to persist

ExcaliVir helps identify cancer specific microbial signatures, providing potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.

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