DENTAL NEWS: Tongue coating microbiome data distinguish patients with pancreatic head cancer from healthy controls

The microbiota plays a critical role in the process of human carcinogenesis. Pancreatic head carcinoma (PHC)-associated tongue coating microbiome dysbiosis has not yet been clearly defined.

Pancreatic carcinoma (PC) is the seventh highest cause of death from cancer worldwide. The symptoms of PC do not usually appear in the early stages of the disease and therefore most patients already have advanced stage disease by the time they seek medical help. 

Many potential biomarkers in the blood and tumor tissue have been reported, but only early detection biomarkers have clinical value in terms of PC prevention and the identification of high-risk groups. For example, CA19-9 (carbohydrate antigen 19.9), which is used as a PC marker in clinic, lacks sensitivity and specificity, and is used for following known cases rather than for diagnosis. The human microbiome has been shown to be closely associated with carcinogenesis and tumor-promoting inflammation

Seeking novel biomarkers from the human microbiome as early warning and diagnostic indicators has been a strategy employed for many diseases. Therefore, research into the association between the microbiome and pancreatic cancer may open new opportunities to develop biomarkers to identify high-risk individuals.

Journal of Oral Microbiology

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