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Biosci Rep. 2018 Oct 22;38(5). pii: BSR20180935. doi: 10.1042/BSR20180935. Print 2018 Oct 31.

Parasites as negative regulators of cancer.

Author information

1
Unidad de Biomedicina, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Avenida de los Barrios 1, Los Reyes Iztacala, Tlalnepantla, Estado de México, 54090, México.
2
Unidad de Biomedicina, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Avenida de los Barrios 1, Los Reyes Iztacala, Tlalnepantla, Estado de México, 54090, México literrazas@unam.mx.
3
Laboratorio Nacional en Salud, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Avenida de los Barrios 1, Los Reyes Iztacala, Tlalnepantla, Estado de México, 54090, México.

Abstract

Several environmental factors (chemical, physical, and biological) can cause the initiation, promotion, and progression of cancer. Regarding the biological factors, several studies have found that infections caused by some bacteria, viruses and protozoan, and helminth parasites are related to carcinogenesis. However, in recent years a different approach has been implemented on the antitumor impact of parasitic diseases caused by some protozoan and helminths, mainly because such infections may affect several hallmarks of cancer, but the involved mechanisms still remain unknown. The beneficial effects reported for some parasitic diseases on tumorigenesis range from the induction of apoptosis, activation of the immune response, avoiding metastasis and angiogenesis, inhibition of proliferative signals, to the regulation of inflammatory responses that promote cancer. In this work, we reviewed the available information regarding how parasitic infections may modulate cancer progression. Despite the fact that specific mechanisms of action on tumors are not yet totally clear, we consider that detailed studies of the antitumor action of these organisms and their products could lead to the discovery and use of new molecules from these biological agents that may work as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of various types of cancer.

KEYWORDS:

helminth; inflammation; parasitic protozoa; tumor

PMID:
30266743
PMCID:
PMC6200699
DOI:
10.1042/BSR20180935
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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