chronic chlamydial infection and tumours

Submitted by D W on Thu, 2014-08-28 13:21

There is good reason to believe that chronic chlamydial infection may facilitate the growth of cancers in that chlamydiae prevent host cells from killing themselves (apoptosisi). A cell that ‘feels’ itself undergoing malignant change kills itself using the caspase pathway. If it is prevented from doing this a tumour may result.  (There is some evidence that Chlamydia psittaci is involved in ocular lymphomas — in some patients the tumours regressed when treated with doxycycline. [Chlamydial infection: the link with ocular adnexal lymphomas. Ferreri AJ, Dolcetti R, Magnino S, Doglioni C, Ponzoni M. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2009 Nov;6(11):658-69.] It would be interesting if C. pneumoniae behaved similarly. Indeed, there is evidence that certain lung cancers are associated with raised titres of C. pneumoniae: [Azithromycin enhances the favorable results of paclitaxel and cisplatin in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Chu DJ, Yao DE, Zhuang YF, Hong Y, Zhu XC, Fang ZR, Yu J, Yu ZY. Genet Mol Res. 2014 Apr 14;13(2):2796-805.] This is fascinating.)