Certain Oral Bacteria May Be Linked To Higher Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer, Study Suggests.

The Washington Post (4/20, McGinley) reports that research suggests certain oral bacteria may be linked to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Investigators “analyzed oral-wash samples collected over several years as part of two large cancer prevention and screening studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.”

        CBS News (4/20, Marcus) reports on its website that the researchers “found that two oral bacteria were elevated in the pancreatic cancer patients: Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans.” Individuals “who carried Porphyromonas gingivalis had an overall 59 percent greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer, and those who carried Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans were at least 50 percent more likely overall to develop the disease.” The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

        Medical Daily (4/19, Scutti) similarly reported that the NYU Langone Medical Center study finds “the presence of specific bacteria in the mouth may indicate an increased risk for pancreatic cancer.” After examining “the bacterial contents in mouthwash samples from more than 700 Americans,” the NYU research team found that those “whose mouths contained the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis had a 59 percent greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer,” while those with Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans had “at least a 50 percent likelihood of developing the disease.”

        Infection Control Today (4/19) reported that senior investigator and epidemiologist Jiyoung Ahn, PhD, said, “Our study offers the first direct evidence that specific changes in the microbial mix in the mouth — the oral microbiome — represent a likely risk factor for pancreatic cancer along with older age, male gender, smoking, African-American race, and a family history of the disease.”

        The Daily Mail (4/19) reported that Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the UK Oral Health Foundation, said, “Further investigation into this association needs to be carried out but if confirmed there’s no reason why a saliva test to detect for pancreatic cancer could not be taken by your dentist.”