Pancreatic cancer and gum disease share bacterias

Oral Bacteria Linked to Pancreatic Cancer Risk in Grantee Study


In April 2016, Jiyoung Ahn, PhD, recipient of the 2012 The Daniel and Janet Mordecai – Career Development Award, presented key findings at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting linking bacteria found in people’s mouths to their risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Her work has now been published in a prestigious biomedical journal.

Ahn’s study that was published in Gut involved collaboration among some of her colleagues at New York University as well as researchers from several other institutions across the country, including the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society. A coauthor on the paper, George Miller, MD, received the 2014 Celgene Corporation – Innovative Grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as well.

Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, but there is only limited knowledge about risk factors associated with the disease.

“Previous studies have shown that indicators of poor oral health, including a history of periodontal disease and lots of missing teeth, are associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer,” said Ahn, associate professor of population health and associate director of population sciences at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.

“To test the idea that this association is driven by species of oral bacteria linked to periodontal disease, we first needed to determine whether these bacteria are even associated with pancreatic cancer risk.”

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