Summary #848

In the Pancreas, Common Fungi May Drive Cancer
  • The pancreas used to be considered a sterile organ, but new studies show that it’s home to bacteria and fungi, some of which cause pancreatic cancer.
  • Different fungi reside in the pancreas than in the gut, in particular a genus of Basidiomycota called Malassezia, which the new study links to cancer.
  • Increasing its amount caused cancer cells to grow, and removing it stopped cancer from growing, indicating that fungal cells drive tumor growth.
  • This suggests that cancer isn’t only about tumor cells -- the microenvironment that tumors grow in is equally, if not more important.
  • The study is an important step towards early prevention of pancreatic cancer, as currently there are no methods for it.


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