Chronic bacterial infections as the cause of human cancers

Professor Thomas Meyer (Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin)
Tuesday, 14 March, 2017 - 15:00
Tanis Drummond Lecture Theatre, Level 5, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School
Infections account for a considerable number of human cancers. The epithelial mucosa comprises a central site of infections and anti-microbial defence and the inevitable damage caused at this frontier not rarely culminates in the emergence of cancer. Establishing a causal link bacterial infections and human cancer has been hampered by the lack of appropriate signatures caused by bacterial pathogens. Nevertheless, recent studies have revealed striking insights into the tentative role of persistent bacterial pathogens in the emergence of human cancers, even beyond the established role of Helicobacter pylori in gastric carcinogenesis. I will highlight the intriguing features elaborated by certain bacteria (e.g. Chlamydia, Salmonella) on human epithelial cells and introduce sophisticated in vitro models that may help strengthen existing causal relationships.
School of Medicine
Division of Cancer Research