In a groundbreaking study, scientists recently unveiled a startling connection between fungi and many different types of cancer.
The researchers revealed the presence of fungi in a staggering 35 different forms of cancer, shedding new light on the intricate relationship between microorganisms and diseases like cancer.
The study uncovered interactions between fungi and bacteria through both physical and biochemical mechanisms. One of these methods is via a low alpha diversity but a high beta diversity in the intratumoral mycobiome across tumor samples.
The tumor microenvironment is a sophisticated and dynamic system characterized by a myriad of interactions between diverse microorganisms and immune cells. For example, researchers found compelling positive links between fungal and bacterial diversities, abundances, and co-occurrences in diverse cancer types.
The most significant co-occurrences were discovered in breast cancer, which had the largest sample size, with 96.5% of significant fungi-bacteria co-occurrences in breast cancer being positive. Colon cancer exhibited the highest Ascomycota to Basidiomycota ratio (A/B ratio) due to abundant Saccharomycetes, while melanoma displayed the lowest ratio.
Over the past decade and especially in the last few years, there has been heightened public attention on the health repercussions associated with exposure to mold within constructed spaces and how it can seriously affect our health.
The intricate dynamics of fungi as opportunistic pathogens influencing host immunity and impacting cancer patients have been mostly overlooked in current research.
However, there is hope.
For example, recent studies have proved the presence of fungal pathogens, invasive infections or fungal dysbiosis within organs could lead to life-threatening diseases (Rizzetto et al., 2014; Underhill and Iliev 2014; Zhang et al., 2020). Researchers are are revealing the possible involvement of various fungal species in the induction of carcinogenesis and metastasis in different organs of the human body (Chung et al., 2017; Kaźmierczak-Siedlecka et al., 2020b; Zhang et al., 2020).
According to the New York Times’ in 2020, researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel discovered bacteria in tumors in all types of cancer they studied. In another study from 2020 by the University of California, San Diego, researchers found a small percentage of DNA from all 32 types of cancer contained bacterial DNA.
As our understanding of the connection between fungi and cancer development deepens, it becomes crucial to contemplate the potential ramifications of these discoveries for the environments where we live and work indoors.
Now that the correlation between fungi and cancer is now firmly established, environments exhibiting elevated fungal levels pose a much more significant threat beyond causing allergies.
They cause serious diseases and even death…
Consider the scenario of sneezing in a mold-infested environment—this act could involve inhaling mold spores that may potentially contribute to cancer.
Furthermore, considering the intricate relationships between bacteria and fungi in nature, our study also sought to uncover their interactions within tumors, potentially unlocking synergistic diagnostic insights for specific cancer types
This underscores the significance of upholding cleanliness and promoting the use of HEPA air purifiers in healthy indoor environments, particularly in places where individuals spend substantial amounts of time, such as residences, educational institutions, and workplaces.
Moe is the Founder and CEO of Mold Safe Solutions in Southern California. He is a certified mold inspector, mold remediator and author.