Bacteria may signal pancreatic cancer risk

September 19, 2012
Possible clue to a hard-to-diagnose cancer

Human pancreatic tumor cells stained and magnified 400 times. Research suggests a strong link, possibly predictive, between pancreatic cancer and levels of antibodies to certain oral bacteria.

Credit: Credit: Dr. Lance Liotta Laboratory/NCI Visuals

Pancreatic cancer is highly lethal and difficult to detect early. In a new study, researchers report that people who had high levels of antibodies for an infectious oral bacterium turned out to have double the risk for developing the cancer. High antibody levels for harmless oral bacteria, meanwhile, predicted a reduced pancreatic cancer risk.  Read the story.