Microbes and cancer: Coming a full circle [post]

Sriganesh Srihari, Sulakshana Srihari
2016 unpublished
Microbes, particularly viruses, have had a chequered history in cancer research. Considered in the 1960s and 1970s as the main cause of cancers, a decade later microbes were set aside as inconsequential to the field. However, with confirmed links established between microbial infections and certain cancers in the last several years – e.g. human papillomavirus infection and cervical cancer, and Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric cancer – the field has slowly started to take notice of
more » ... bes again. Today, we know that about 15% of all cancer cases reported worldwide is due to microbes. Moreover, latest research findings suggest that viruses can be engineered to selectively target and kill cancer cells. A healthy microbiome in the human gut is also thought to aid responses to certain cancer therapies. Therefore, microbes appear to be back in the game now. Here we present a short perspective of the 'full circle' that microbes have come and their relevance to cancer research.
doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.2448 fatcat:75qucu23o5fcli6lh6n6oe3n34