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CWRU researchers find byproducts of bacteria-causing gum disease incite oral cancer growth
Date:2/25/2014

compromised immune systems: people on medications to suppress rejection of transplants, cancer patients on chemotherapies and the elderly population whose immune systems naturally weaken with age.

The researchers wanted to learn why most people never develop this form of cancer and what it is that protects them.

The researchers recruited 21 patients, dividing them into two groups. All participants were given standard gum-disease tests.

The first group of 11 participants had an average age of 50 and had severe chronic gum disease. The second group of 10 participants, whose average age was about 26, had healthy gums, practiced good oral health and showed no signs of bleeding or tooth loss from periodontal disease.

The researchers also studied a saliva sample from each. Part of the saliva sample was separated into its components using a spinning centrifuge. The remaining saliva was used for DNA testing to track and identify bacteria present, and at what levels.

The researchers were interested in Pg's and Fn's byproducts of lipopolysaccharide, fimbriae, proteinases and at least five different short-chain fatty acids (SCFA): butyric acid, isobutryic acid, isovaleric acid, propionic acid and acetic acid.

After initially testing the byproducts, the researchers suspected that the fatty acids were involved in replicating KSHV. The researchers cleansed the fatty acids and then introduced them to cells with quiescent KSHV virus in a petri dish for monitoring the virus' reaction.

After introducing SCFA, the virus began to replicate. But the researchers saw that, while the fatty acids allowed the virus to multiple, the process also set in motion a cascade of actions that also inhibited molecules in the body's immune system from stopping the growth of KSHV.

"The most important thing to come out of this study is that we believe periodontal disease is a risk factor for Kaposi sarcoma tumor in HIV pat
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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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