Mingyang Song, MD, ScD. Division of Gastroenterology Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School Department of Nutrition and Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts

Gum Disease Linked to Cancer of Esophagus and Stomach

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mingyang Song, MD, ScD. Division of Gastroenterology Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School Department of Nutrition and Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Song

Mingyang Song, MD, ScD.
Division of Gastroenterology
Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and
Harvard Medical School
Department of Nutrition and Department of Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Boston, Massachusetts

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Recent studies showed a presence of dysbiotic oral microbiome in patients with esophageal and gastric cancer, suggesting a link between oral health and these cancers. However, how periodontal disease and tooth loss may influence the risk of these cancers has been inconsistent. 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Our findings support a possible role of oral health in the development of upper GI cancer. Individuals with periodontal disease and tooth loss are at higher risk of developing esophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma. The risk is particularly high for individuals with both periodontal disease and tooth loss. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Based on our findings, people with periodontal disease and tooth loss should be encouraged to modify their lifestyle, for example, quit smoking and lower alcohol intake, in order to reduce their cancer risk. Also, these people may benefit from early cancer screening, although this requires further investigation. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We expect more microbiome studies nested within long-running cohorts to be carried out over the next few years. These studies would leverage the rich data in large prospective cohorts and directly assess the role of microbiome data in esophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma. Also, further studies are certainly needed to assess the predictive capability of oral health for these malignancies. In addition, the potential benefit of early cancer screening in people with periodontal disease and tooth loss requires further investigation. 

Nothing to disclose. 

Citation:

Lo C, Kwon S, Wang L, et al

Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and risk of oesophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma: a prospective study
Gut Published Online First: 20 July 2020. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321949 

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Jul 24, 2020 @ 12:23 pm

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